MediSecure data breach

The MediSecure data breach does not affect current prescriptions and patients should feel confident in getting scripts filled, AMA Queensland Vice President Dr Nick Yim said after a briefing from the National Office of Cyber Security.

AMA Queensland Vice President Dr Nick Yim was part of an early briefing on Friday 17 May from the National Office of Cyber Security about the MediSecure cyber breach.

With our federal colleagues, AMA Queensland welcomes the formation of a National Stakeholder Group to support the Government's response.

While we expect to see further updates from Government, the most important message is that patients should not hesitate to get their medications dispensed as the current prescription delivery service is not affected by the breach.

The National Cyber Security Coordinator, Lieutenant General Michelle McGuinness CSC, has provided the following advice:

The Australian Government continues to assist MediSecure, an electronic prescriptions provider, respond to a cyber incident.

We are still working to build a picture of the size and nature of the data that has been impacted by this data breach impacting MediSecure.

This discovery work often takes time and I understand Australians are anxious about the possibility of their personal information being affected.

I want to assure everyone that we are working as fast as we can to complete our assessment and when we have further information to share about what has been impacted, we will share this with you – along with what affected people may need to do to protect themselves.

From the information that is currently available to the Government, no current ePrescriptions have been impacted or accessed. The Department of Health has confirmed there has been no impact to the ePrescription services currently in use.

On the basis of technical advice from MediSecure to date, the original compromise has been isolated and there is no evidence to suggest an increased cyber threat to the medical sector.

We are looking closely at any evidence about whether identity documents have been compromised in the breach, and are working with MediSecure, Services Australia, and state and territory credential issuing bodies to build a full picture of the impacted dataset.

We have not seen evidence so far to suggest that anyone needs to replace their Medicare card. If our investigation turns up any evidence to suggest Australians’ identities are at risk and they need to replace their documents, we will let them know.

Yesterday I convened the National Coordination Mechanism (NCM) with the National Emergency Management Agency, which pulls together all relevant Government stakeholders to ensure we are all working from the same information and understanding of the issue.

The NCM allows us to achieve strong situational awareness and ensures that together, we’re best positioned to identify options available to the Australian Government to respond to the incident. I intend to convene another meeting of the NCM later today.

Today, we will also be briefing key health sector industry bodies on the incident and our national response. This will include the Australian Medical Association, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, and major private hospital providers. These organisations and their members will play a key role in our response in the coming days and weeks.

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