Imagine if any medical practitioner could access your healthcare records at the click of a mouse. The emergency department could treat you more quickly, specialists could compare test results instantly and you wouldn’t have to remember the last time you had a tetanus shot.
Welcome to the world of eHealth, a program the Government has invested $466 million in. Its aim is to create PCEHRs (Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records) that centralise a patient’s healthcare information and, with their permission, present it to registered healthcare providers.
Advocates of the scheme say it will ensure a safer, more efficient healthcare system, but critics raise issues including privacy, access and consent.
“I don’t think privacy has been addressed enough,” says Professor Julie Zetler, senior lecturer in the department of marketing and management at Macquarie University, who is researching the ethics of eHealth.
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