Re­view of Medi­care data ac­cess

Pilbara News - - News - Phoebe Wearne

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.

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