Through delays in changing a controversial medical privacy
consent form, ACC has missed a big chance to rebuild trust
and confidence after earlier privacy breaches.
That is the view of Dunedin ACC campaigner Denise Powell, who
says privacy is a ''human right''. She is ''frustrated and
disappointed'' by delays in changing the ACC167 consent form,
which ACC claimants are required to sign.
ACC had ''absolutely missed an opportunity'' to rebuild trust
among long-term claimants by not allowing more flexible
''case by case'' consents, rather than requiring blanket
approval in advance for all subsequent ACC requests for
medical information, with no notice to claimants.
ACC will soon begin reviewing the form, which critics say
removes the privacy rights of claimants.
And this form is also being appealed to the United Nations
later this year by Acclaim Otago, a claimant support
organisation, which recently gained a $10,000 New Zealand Law
Foundation award to prepare a report to the UN over claimed
non-compliance by New Zealand with a UN Convention on rights
of the disabled, including over privacy issues.
Dr Powell's name and those of about 470 Otago ACC claimants
were on a list of 6725 people mistakenly emailed to Auckland
resident Bronwyn Pullar in a major privacy breach in late
After this privacy breach, a high-level report - commissioned
by the Privacy Commissioner - took issue with several aspects
of the consent form, saying there was ''an opportunity for a
better practice review''.
The review team also ''strongly'' encouraged ACC to consider
''detailed consultation'' with those affected.
ACC accepted the report's recommendations in August 2012, and
ACC officials said the form would be considered during a
''three-year work programme''.
After a recent follow-up query from the ODT about the form,
ACC spokeswoman Stephanie Melville said ACC had first needed
''to draft and implement ACC privacy strategy'' and to review
This had been completed and a review of the form was
''scheduled to begin'' early this year.
The form needed ''some review'', but was ''a transparent way
of ensuring that a client is aware of, and consents to, ACC
using and disclosing their personal information to support
their claim''. ACC needed to collect and use client
information in order to ''process client claims'' and assess
entitlements in the ''most efficient manner possible'', she