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Public Given One Week to Respond to Health ID Bill

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

March 2, 2010

A bill to assign unique ID numbers to all Australians was sent to the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs on February 26 for examination, giving members of the public wishing to offer comment until March 5 to do so, iTWire reports. According to the Rudd government, the 16-digit Individual Healthcare Identifiers that would be required under the bill are needed to identify patients and healthcare providers and "as a further step to ensure the privacy and security of an e-health system," the report states. The committee is expected to review such issues as privacy safeguards, including who will have access to the identifier numbers, and issue a report on March 15.
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