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That's seems to be par for the course in general in government, but the past few have been particularly so, especially when it comes to understanding the digital needs of its citizens.

"We urge government consultation with women and domestic violence organisations to address safety and risk for victims of domestic violence from My Health records", the Women's Legal Service of Queensland said on Facebook.

AMA president Dr Tony Bartone, who met with the minister last night, said the changes announced by Hunt met with the concerns of doctors.

The Federal Government has bowed to the intense pressure surrounding the controversial My Health Record system, promising to strengthen laws to protect patient's privacy.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has been claiming the record has military grade security and said: "the advice that I have, no data breaches and no releases to any law enforcement agencies after six years".

The government said it will also allow individuals to permanently cancel their record.

Australia's peak medical bodies have won some concessions over the privacy of the country's MyHealth Record, and the government says it will extend the opt-out period to mid-November, but it's unlikely to end the hostile debate over the initiative.

That aspect of the e-health system was so contentious that when the Parliamentary Library published an opinion that the legislation did, in fact, provide warrantless access to the records, the piece was briefly unpublished before being replaced with a version that was less confronting to the government.

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Health Minister Greg Hunt announced the change on Tuesday night following an emergency meeting with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) over mounting privacy concerns that threaten to derail the My Health Record project.

"Privacy of health records is vital, and it is good that the Minister has responded to these concerns and provided the necessary assurances", Mr Tambassis said.

While doctors were eager to see the scheme implemented, they were also at the forefront of those raising privacy issues.

'A patient's medical record contains highly sensitive, confidential and privileged information.

"Changes to the legislation that remove any questions about who may be able to access the records ensure that the records will be able to be used in line with the RACGP's position statement on My Health Records".

RACGP president Dr Bastian Seidel welcomed the move, calling it "a very positive step towards the meaningful use of My Health Record".

National Rural Health Alliance CEO Mark Diamond said the changes address his organisation's fears that the records could be accessed by agencies such as the Tax Office and Centrelink without a court order.

He also welcomed the change to allow records to be permanently deleted rather than stored.


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