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Roxon Defends eHealth System Amidst Criticism

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

October 7, 2011

Health Minister Nicola Roxon is defending draft legislation surrounding the government's personally controlled electronic health records system, calling it an improvement to the protections currently in place for paper records. But The Australian reports that critics say the government is sidestepping the responsibility for creating a promised audit trail--and any penalties for breaches--by putting the onus on healthcare facilities to identify which individuals have accessed records, meanwhile exempting federal- and state-run facilities from prosecution. Additionally, computer experts say the authentication technology necessary for a secure system does not yet exist, and the Australian Privacy Foundation's chairwoman called the system unusable due to privacy concerns.
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