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PCEHR registration to be rewritten
THE health department will rewrite the “unfair” conditions of registration for the personally controlled e-health records (PCEHR) system, which required practices to assume all liability and grant unrestricted departmental access to their premises and records.
The draft conditions have been panned by health insurers and industry experts, and prompted AMA secretary general Francis Sullivan to warn the requirements were unfair and would “deter every medical practice in Australia from participating”.
MDA National president Associate Professor Julian Rait said any lawyer would say the condition requiring access to a practice’s premises, IT systems, records and staff was “a dealbreaker”.
Professor Rait said the Medical Indemnity Industry Association of Australia, of which MDA National is a member, had provided feedback to the department on the draft conditions and said the association “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,” he said.
“We would say it would be foolhardy of practitioners to agree to a condition like that.”
RACGP e-health spokesperson Mike Civil said while he and many other GPs were very supportive of the PCEHR concept he was “very disappointed” by the way the system rollout had been handled so far.
“They are killing it,” he said.
“They are shooting it in the foot before it even begins.”
Australian Association of Practice Managers president Brett McPherson said the association had sought 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,” he said.
A department spokesperson said the draft conditions had been workshopped with stakeholders and a revised draft would be released for consultation soon.
The spokesperson said the revised draft will not require organisations to assume all legal liability or grant officials unrestricted access to premises and records and will not impose unfair or extraordinary obligations.