Parliament

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.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Populism’s Changing Of The Guard, Plus A Soul Music Playlist

The weekend’s Newshub/Reid Research poll results - Act up to 11.1%, National up 1% but still sitting at only 28.7%, Labour down to 43%, the Greens up to 8.5% - shows that the combined centre right vote is still languishing nearly 12 points behind the combined centre-left vote, 45 months after the last centre-right government was voted out... More>>



 
 


Finance: Finance Minister And RBNZ Governor Agree To Update MOU On Macro-prudential Policy

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr have updated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy to further protect the financial system and support the Government’s housing objectives... More>>

Government: Offers Formal Apology For Dawn Raids
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has today formally apologised to Pacific communities impacted by the Dawn Raids in the 1970s.

Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families... More>>


Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>

ALSO:




Human Rights Commission: Successive Governments Responsible For Massive Breaches Of The Right To A Decent Home

Te Kahu Tika Tangata / Human Rights Commission has today launched Framework Guidelines on the Right to a Decent Home in Aotearoa and announced that it will hold a national inquiry into housing... More>>



NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels