Review of Medicare data access
Doctors’ access to Medicare numbers is likely to be tightened after the Federal Government ordered an inquiry into the online system being used to look up thousands of records a day.
The review, sparked by recent revelations that card details were being sold illegally on the dark web, will seek to determine just how easily a patient’s details can be retrieved amid concerns about the personal data being sold to criminals. The Health Professionals Online Services web portal allows health professionals to check Medicare numbers of people caught up in emergencies and is accessed up to 45,000 times a day.
With an Australian Federal Police investigation into the alleged data breach under way, the Government is yet to identify who was responsible.
It has acknowledged the numbers could have been obtained from a healthcare professional with access to the database.
Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the Government wanted to enhance the security of the online database, as it was important to both patients and doctors.
The review, to be led by former Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet chief Peter Shergold, is due to report back by September 30.