NATION BREACH SPARKS REVIEW
A MAJOR review of the security of Medicare card details being made available online to private health providers has been announced by the Federal Government.
Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and Health Minister Greg Hunt have issued a joint statement saying the review follows revelations of a possible breach of Medicare records.
The Federal Government has been forced to contact “dozens” of Australians whose Medicare card numbers were illegally sold on the dark web.
It’s believed someone breached the security surrounding Medicare details, potentially exposing Australians to fraud. Federal police are now investigating the “traditional criminal activity”.
“We re- emphasise that a Medicare card number alone does not provide access to any medical or clinical records,” yesterday’s statement reads.
But the Federal Govern- ment concedes Medicare cards and numbers have long been a priority target for criminals.
“This review will identify options to improve the security of Medicare numbers while continuing to support the accessibility of medical care,” the statement says.
“The review will commence immediately and will report by 30 September, 2017.”
Online access to Medicare details was offered to health providers in 2009 with the intention of assisting hospitals, family doctors and other health facilities to bill customers when they were unable to present their card.
This access was expanded in 2010 to enable health providers to find a Medicare number with a search of name and date of birth.
“The Government wants to ensure that there is increased security in a system which is important to both patients and doctors,” the Government statement said.