Government databases and public health research: facilitating access in the public interest

Carolyn Adams, Judy Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Access to datasets of personal health information held by government agencies is essential to support public health research and to promote evidence-based public health policy development. Privacy legislation in Australia allows the use and disclosure of such information for public health research. However, access is not always forthcoming in a timely manner and the decision-making process undertaken by government data custodians is not always transparent. Given the public benefit in research using these health information datasets, this article suggests that it is time to recognise a right of access for approved research and that the decisions, and decision-making processes, of government data custodians should be subject to increased scrutiny. The article concludes that researchers should have an avenue of external review where access to information has been denied or unduly delayed.

LanguageEnglish
Pages957-972
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of law and medicine
Volume21
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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public interest
Public Health
public health
Databases
health information
Research
decision-making process
Decision Making
Personal Health Records
Government Agencies
public benefits
Access to Information
Privacy
Policy Making
Disclosure
Public Policy
Health Policy
government agency
Legislation
health policy

Cite this

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Government databases and public health research : facilitating access in the public interest. / Adams, Carolyn; Allen, Judy.

In: Journal of law and medicine, Vol. 21, No. 4, 2014, p. 957-972.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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