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Officials, Academics Disagree on E-Health

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—NEW SOUTH WALES

May 21, 2010

Privacy concerns about the move to electronic medical records should not outweigh the benefits of the program, according to NSW Health Deputy Director-General Tim Smyth. CIO reports that Smyth believes the privacy concerns about e-health are overstated. Meanwhile, a University of Sydney professor cautions that not enough funding is being allotted to address privacy concerns associated with e-health records. Privacy should not be an obstacle to e-health, Smyth contends, as only authorised healthcare providers may view records, and they must sign an agreement to "respect the privacy of records and to maintain confidentiality of the information." Civil Liberties Australia had previously suggested that, except in emergencies, only patients should be able to approve the use of their data.
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