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In a Senate inquiry submission outlining concerns about the nation's e-health system (PCEHR), Australian Privacy Foundation (APF) Health Chair Juanita Fernando said new technical specifications are being rushed in order to finalise the legislation. "The bills do not embody informed consent arrangements," says Fernando, and they "will diminish data confidentiality, integrity and availability," reports The Australian. The Consumers Health Forum (CHF) has also submitted comments to the Senate calling for greater accountability and strong consumer controls over access to medical records under the plan. Citing jurisdictional concerns over locally held databases and the lack of an oversight authority, the CHF says, "To proceed without key components in place will greatly increase the risk for patients and participating health professionals." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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