Senate agrees to new probe for My Health Record

After Greens, Labor push.

The Senate has approved a push by the Greens for a fresh inquiry to be conducted into the government’s controversial My Health Record scheme.

Greens Leader Richard Di Natale on Wednesday afternoon moved that the e-health record system be referred to the Community Affairs References Committee, gazumping a Labor push to stand up an inquiry.

Labor had also planned an appeal to the crossbench today, but wanted the inquiry played out in the Senate finance and public administration reference committee.

The approved senate inquiry will spend just under two months probing the expected benefits of the personal electronic health record and the decision to shift from opt-in to opt-out to boost adoption rates.

It will also look at private and security concerns that have been raised, such as the vulnerability of the system to unauthorised access, and the administration of the rollout by the Australian Digital Health Agency.

A report is due to be tabled on October 8 – just over a month before the the end of the revised opt-out period on November 15.

The inquiry comes as the government continues to redraft part of the My Health Record legislation to make it harder for agencies and police to gain access to the content of a personal electronic health record.

Last week it also extended extended the opt-out period for individuals to withdraw their consent from the scheme.