Changes to the My Health Record legislation to prevent employers from gaining access to an employee's confidential health information is an important step forward in building public trust in the integrity of the system, according to the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU).
Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP today announced that the Federal Government would support a series of amendments being put forward by the Opposition, including steps to prevent records being accessed by employers or their representatives.
RTBU National Secretary Bob Nanva today said employers should not be able to use compulsory company medical checks as a back-door method to access private and personal information about their workers.
"In theory, the My Health Record system is an initiative that will save lives, but w need to be realistic about the potential for it to be misused.
"There is absolutely no doubt that some unscrupulous employers will see this system as an opportunity to delve into the personal and medical history of their workers, such as past mental health issues or pregnancies.
"This opens the door for discrimination and unfair treatment of workers.
Mr Nanva said the RTBU would be closely scrutinising the final legislation to see if it effectively shut the door on employers gaining access to My Health Record data.
"We still have concerns about the relationships between companies and their appointed medical practitioners, and the way information is shared between them."