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Privacy Foundation Says HI Bill Lacks Safeguards

PRIVACY LAW—AUSTRALIA

June 1, 2010

The Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) says the nation's Healthcare Identifiers Bill lacks the safeguards necessary to protect patient privacy, The Australian reports. APF spokeswoman Dr. Juanita Fernando says the bill would authorize health authorities to disclose and use patients' health information in ways the patient may not approve of, which could erode patient-doctor trust. "Can you imagine the damage to our health as patients start to distrust the confidentiality of their medical records and become more reluctant to be frank about their symptoms?" she asked. Far safer e-health systems already exist in some Australian states, Fernando said.
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