After reports emerged of a scandal, the country’s Minister of Health, Greg Hunt, ordered an “urgent review” of the health engine.
According to Australia’s leading news portal ABC news, the country’s largest online doctor’s appointment service, Health Engine allegedly routed hundreds of private medical information from users to law firms looking for customers for bodily injury claims.
Mr Hunt’s spokesperson said the government had asked the Information Commissioner and the Australian Digital Health Agency to investigate the matter.
The CBA, in its report, said it obtained secret documents from the law giant from plaintiffs Slater and Gordon which reveal that Health Engine forwarded a daily list of potential clients to the company, based on their personal medical information, as part of a “benchmark partnership pilot” last year.
Health Engine is a Perth-based startup partially owned by Telstra and SevenWest Media. The company is Australia’s largest online healthcare marketplace that helps patients contact their healthcare professionals and schedule appointments.
According to reports, HealthEngine asks users to include details about their symptoms and health condition, including whether they have suffered an injury at work or a traffic accident, as part of the appointment booking process. you with general practitioners, dentists, physiotherapists, optometrists and other medical practitioners.
The ABC also revealed that HealthEngine passed details of an average of 200 clients per month to Slater and Gordon between March and August of last year.
A total of 40 became clients of Slater and Gordon, which generated legal fees estimated at $ 500,000.
In a statement posted on its website, Health Engine said “it only shares information after receiving user consent.” ABC claims, however, that “there is no way to deactivate the terms of the collection statement if patients wish to use the app.”
“Under previous agreements, HealthEngine provided referrals to law firms, but only with the express consent of the user,” said Dr Marcus Tan, CEO of Health aengine, in a statement posted on the site. Company web.
This is not the first time that Health Engine has encountered problems. Earlier this month, Fairfax media reported that changing negative patient reviews and posting them as “positive customer feedback” was potentially misleading users.
A Fairfax Media analysis of 47,900 “positive” patient reviews from 1,840 medical practices on HealthEngine found that 53% had been changed in some way. HealthEngine says it only posts positive reviews. Many patient reviews have reported that the agency was fabricated to reflect only the positive side of the comment.