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Behind the news - 24 April 2012
The health department has rewritten e-health registration conditions. But is anyone happy?
AN INDUSTRY backlash has prompted the health department to rewrite draft conditions of registration for the PCEHR that would have required practices to assume all liability and grant unrestricted access to their premises and records.
The draft conditions outraged stakeholders and dismayed e-health advocates.
A department spokesperson told MO a revised draft, which would not require organisations to assume all legal liability or grant officials unrestricted access to premises and records, would be released for consultation soon.
Assoc Professor Julian Rait
President, MDA National
“We believe MDOs should be consulted on the PCEHR rollout and we have been asked for feedback by the department on the draft conditions of registration.
“[The conditions] place all responsibility on the practice, despite the fact the patient will control much of the record and that seems counterintuitive.
“We are engaged with the government and are trying to encourage them to change the conditions, but at the moment we would not advise doctors to participate with such onerous conditions.
“[The condition granting access to premises and records] causes particular concern because it is analogous to a search and seizure type clause.
“We would say it would be foolhardy of practitioners to agree to a condition like that.
“Any lawyer would say that’s a dealbreaker.”
President, Australian Association of Practice Managers
“We would have thought that any healthcare provider organisation (HPO) presented with these conditions of registration would be seeking legal advice.
“It’s almost as if they have tried to cover every possible scenario and as a result it has become really complex. That complexity is such that you need proper legal advice [and] our feedback has been that you wouldn’t sign something like this.
“We are very supportive of the PCEHR and if this was the only hurdle in signing up then, as painful as it may be, you might accept it but this is just another hurdle that has been put along the way.
“First you have got to get patients to consent to take part, then you have to get the GPs themselves to consent, and then get the GP shared health summaries up and running for no cost, and now these terms and conditions.
“It’s becoming very difficult to recommend practices engage in it.”