Medical details online

Within 10 years, the Health Department plans to establish a national database containing the medical details of 80 per cent of Australians. If given the go-ahead by Federal and State governments, the database will allow doctors, hospitals and pharmacists to access the medical history of patients as well as enable patients to access their own records. The proposed network, Health Connect, would involve each patient having an identity number that would have to be entered before gaining access to records online. Senior health official, Lynelle Briggs, says that Health Connect would focus on patient detail privacy and would let patients filter sensitive medical details, such as sexual or mental health problems, to health professionals. Ms Briggs claims that the elderly, chronically ill and newborns would benefit the most from Health Connect, as such a system would provide fast and accurate medical information to aid correct diagnosis and treatment.

‘Majority tipped to join health databank', The Sydney Morning Herald, 22/09/00, p 5.