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


Patient confidentiality at risk

A centralised data base where each New Zealander's medical and mental health details will be stored in the next few months still does not have a guaranteed security system in place.

Alliance spokesperson for health, Phillida Bunkle was responding to a recent Project Champ Newsletter which admits the scheme is not yet secure, although it is asking community organisations to supply patient files to be stored.

Champ is the Information Technology Project for Community Health and Mental Health. It is part of the Information Systems Strategic Plan, set up to collect and store information on a centralised data base.

The July 1999 news letter says it is difficult to provide 'a satisfactory balance between security and access. 'It admits that 'there is an ongoing consultation with a number of users regarding the security of data and once we have the framework of a plan we will be able to enter into wider consultation.

''Only months from completion, and they haven't yet established a security system. Security should have been the first priority not the last,' said Phillida. 'My concern is that New Zealanders have no assurances government agencies like WINZ, insurance companies, and future employers won't be able to access that information.

'At present the only 'security' is the privacy act, which carries with it no monitoring or enforcement provision. 'Once you are on the computer file, you are on it for life. People will live in fear that anyone can find out about a history of mental illness.

'Practitioners in the area of mental health are very worried about this too. A psychiatrists said to me recently that patient confidentiality is to psychiatry what a sterile field is to surgery.

You can't practise without it.'

A pilot conducted in Auckland involves not only hospitals but also private mental health providers who will now have access to confidential information. This pilot is due for completion in December, but already the scheme has been extended to across the country. Instructions about recording and sending patient mental health histories are being mailed out to community organisations right now.'If safety cannot be guaranteed, the project should not proceed. The risks are too great,' said Phillida Bunkle.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joseph Cederwall: Building a Community Newsroom

The “Scoop 3.0” Transition Plan
There is good reason to believe that a new path and a better future is possible for Scoop in 2019 as a pioneering independent Media company. A combination of new technology, ideas, institutions and business models and a renewed energy and commitment by the Scoop team, means Scoop aims to be at the forefront of the development of this renaissance that we term ‘News 3.0’.

By opening up Scoop’s structure to community ownership and exploring decentralised technology through the blockchain we can ensure the public has a stake in this enterprise and a say in its development. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Jami-Lee Ross (And The New Hobbit Law)

Clearly, Jami-Lee Ross is not waging a normal form of political warfare, with agreed rules of combat and rational cost/benefit calculations.

This is politics-as-terrorism where everything is being sacrificed by the man in the bomb vest in order to remove Simon Bridges as the leader of the National Party. More>>

Text Messages Released: National On $100,000 Donation(s)
The Botany Electorate of the National Party received 8 donations, and Mr Ross declared 8 donations to us. More>>


Film Industry Working Group:

Three Killed: DOC Supporting Family, Colleagues After Helicopter Crash

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is rallying around family and colleagues of the staff who died in a helicopter crash this morning in Wanaka... The helicopter, with two DOC staff on board, was on its way to undertake tahr control in the Haast area when it crashed. More>>


Political Donations: Greens Call For Tighter Anonymity Rules And Public Funding

“It is clear that those vested interests have a tangible influence on the decision making of political parties. This is a threat to democracy and should change.” More>>


Education Amendment Bill Passes: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>


Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>


Cull: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>


Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>


Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>





InfoPages News Channels