PCEHR opt-out bill passes Senate

The legislation allowing opt-out trials for the PCEHR to proceed next year and for the name of the system to be changed to My Health Record have passed the Senate with the support of Labor and the Greens.

While the Senate community affairs committee held a brief inquiry into concerns over security and privacy with the system and reported its findings this week, the legislation has always had bipartisan support.

The committee recommended that the Senate pass the legislation, which it did today. There were no amendments proposed.

The new act allows the Minister for Health to make rules to organise and conduct the trials, and if the evidence for its value is there, to adopt the opt-out model on a national basis.

It also changes references from healthcare consumers to healthcare recipients, strengthens some civil penalties for knowingly committing privacy breaches, and makes some changes to the governance of the system in advance of the establishment of the Australian Commission for eHealth (ACeH).

Opt-out trials are due to start next year, with a communication and information campaign to begin in February. The trials will undergo an independent evaluation and the minister is expected to decide on whether to adopt opt-out nationally in 2017.

The government will also have to make a decision on future funding of the system in the 2018-19 budget.

With the passage of the legislation, Pulse+IT will now begin to refer to the system as My Health Record (MyHR).

Posted in Australian eHealth

Tags: PCEHR, My Health Record, MyHR

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