All eyes were on Canberra this week as the upper house's community affairs committee put the Department of Health and its agencies under the microscope during Senate budget estimates, but it turns out it was in the lower house where the real fireworks were about to go off.
Long-term eHealth watchers have become used to estimates hearings being quite bruising affairs, particularly when it comes to the tortured progress of the PCEHR/MyHR over the last seven or so years. But it was a much more agreeable atmosphere this week when Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey fronted up with chief operating officer Bettina McMahon, core systems head Ronan O'Connor and chief medical adviser Meredith Makeham.
Was it bad timing or just bad luck that on the morning of the day the Australian Digital Health Agency decided to announce the date on which people could begin opting out of the My Health Record, a massive media storm exploded over what appeared to be a serious hack of Family Planning NSW's website, which could potentially have breached the privacy of thousands of people.
As it turned out, the hack exploited a vulnerability in a particular piece of software used to build websites, one of which just happened to belong to FP NSW. It was a ransomware attack of the kind that is increasingly common to all manner of industries and organisations, but which did not target healthcare, Family Planning or its vulnerable clients specifically.