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Medicare Confirms 70 Privacy Breaches in 2009

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

March 18, 2010

Medicare Australia has confirmed that 70 substantiated privacy breaches were found during investigations of employees suspected of unauthorised access into client records, The Australian reports. Sheila Bird of Medicare Australia provided information during a recent Senate hearing that 1,058 cases had been investigated since 2006, with 54 percent of those found to be instances of unauthorised access, the report states. Bird said disciplinary measures have included "a rap over the knuckles, demotion, fines and dismissal." Roger Clarke of the Australian Privacy Foundation said the apparent scope of the breaches has "frightening implications" for the federal Healthcare Identifiers Bill.
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