So, here we go again: yet another Senate inquiry has been called into the My Health Record and cynics that we are, we think it will simply be an exercise in thrashing out the same arguments we've all heard before.
There was the 2010 debate on how this thing would look, the 2011 debate on the legislation enabling it, the 2012 botched go live, the 2013 Royle review, the 2014 decision to keep it going, the 2015 decision to trial opt-out, the 2016 trials, the 2017 COAG approval for opt-out, and now here we are in 2018, in the middle of the opt-out period, and we get another inquiry.
It's not often that we admit that a politician has done a sensible thing but that is what Health Minister Greg Hunt did this week, announcing he would introduce an amendment to the My Health Record act to enshrine a requirement for a court order before allowing law enforcement officials to access the system.
This is already the policy and usual practice anyway and has been for six years, but the 2012 legislation does not makes this explicit. Now, it will. Added to the announcement on Thursday at the COAG Health Council meeting that the opt-out period would be extended by an extra month, and a unanimous agreement that the jurisdictions were committed to opt out, the decision already seems to have already taken the heat off the potential Hindenburg that opt-out was becoming.