Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Bill will breach women's privacy, warn Greens

Bill will breach women's privacy, warn Greens

Green MP Sue Kedgley is warning that doctor-patient confidentiality will be a thing of the past if Parliament changes the rules governing the records of women enrolled on the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) later today.

Under proposed changes to the Health (National Cervical Screening Programme) Amendment Bill all doctors in New Zealand will be required to hand over the healthcare records of any woman who is enrolled on the screening programme, if requested to do so by an 'evaluator' at the NCSP, without the knowledge or explicit consent of the women whose records are involved.

The information that doctors will be required to hand over to evaluators could include sensitive and intimate information relating to a woman's history of sexual disease, terminations, or any other information that evaluators decide is 'relevant' to their investigation and research, Ms Kedgley said.

"If these amendments are passed, New Zealand women will be faced with Hobson's Choice. Either they stay on the National Cervical Screening Programme and surrender their right to informed consent, or they opt off the programme and risk both their health and the efficacy of a nationwide screening programme. This is tragic."

Ms Kedgley said the Green Party was vehemently opposed to the new amendments, and would be putting forward amendments to restore informed consent. "In our view consent should always be sought before a person's personal health information and sensitive medical records can be accessed."

It has long been recognised that medical records contain highly sensitive and intimate information, and need special protections, she said. "That is why we have a Health Information Privacy Code which protects the confidentiality of patient information and access to medical records.

"Unless our amendments are successful, the National Cervical Screening Programme will be weakened, as women who do not want their primary healthcare records accessed without their consent choose to opt off ."

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need...

In 2017 it is not unusual for families to be living in their cars, in garages, or in substandard boarding houses. Food banks are unable to meet the soaring demands from not only beneficiaries but, increasingly, the working poor. Private charities, such as KidsCan and Variety, are overwhelmed by the demand from poor families for basic necessities. More>>



Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>





Featured InfoPages