Medical data and Wesfarmers

Medical practitioners have raised concerns over over patient data as Bunnings and Kmart enter the prescriptions business.
28 September 2023
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Medical practitioners express concerns about patient data security as Bunnings and Kmart venture into the prescriptions business.

The integration of InstantScripts, an online doctor service, with Bunnings, Kmart, and multiple pharmacies within the Wesfarmers portfolio raises worries among medical practitioners regarding potential risks to patient data security.

InstantScripts gained popularity during the pandemic by providing an alternative to visiting a general practitioner. It offers an online form to generate prescriptions that are remotely verified by a doctor. Patients can choose to collect their medications from a pharmacy or have them delivered to their home.

The proliferation of such services led to a crackdown by the Medical Board of Australia, which argued that prescribing medications without real-time consultations with a doctor is not a sound medical practice.

Bruce Willett, Vice President of the Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP), warns that the recent PwC scandal demonstrates the difficulty of maintaining clear boundaries within major corporations. He questions the effectiveness of InstantScripts' privacy policy, which claims not to share health information but does admit to sharing information for targeted advertising and with delivery partners. Willett, states:  “It says that they don’t share health information. But the question is: where is that line? And how effective is that [firewall]?

- CyberBeat


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