Flat White

RIP medical privacy

7 July 2022

8:00 AM

7 July 2022

8:00 AM

While the rest of the world moves on and ditches Covid for its new fling ‘Monkey Pox’ – Australia is determined to cement the pandemic into permanent law.

It’s not only the ‘please please please wear masks’ social media hypochondriacs that we have to worry about. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews recently expanded his controversial emergency powers (laws that saw his government compared to a dictatorship for ‘ruling by decree’ in an open letter from Victorian QCs and judges) for three more months – something he can do essentially on a whim.

Worse than living under an arbitrary ‘emergency’ dictatorship is the Victorian government’s plan to dismantle employee privacy laws.

Soon, Victorian employers will be granted access to their employee’s private medical records in relation to Covid vaccination. Given the threat of endless ‘up to date’ compliance, this could poison the privacy laws of employment for a generation.

The move by the Andrews government has been seen as an unnecessary attack on medical privacy, with few accepting the government’s claim that it is being done in the name of ‘pandemic safety’.

Given that no medical authority or manufacturer claims that Covid vaccines stop infection or transmission of the virus – a reality proven beyond doubt by Covid ripping through fully vaccinated workplaces – what is the medical evidence in their possession that could possibly justify this affront to privacy?

The idea that a serious violation of employee rights is being done for reasons of ‘containment’ is a nonsense. Meanwhile, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton weakly explained that this change will give businesses the power to ‘make their own decisions’ – a power they should not have, given it is discrimination.

There is a cold, nasty reality here. If this change goes through, the state government – in all practicality – is endorsing and equipping businesses with the tools to medically discriminate against employees.

Such an action was previously unthinkable.

Those that defend the decision, including Workplace Safety Minister Ingrid Stitt, cling to the notion of viral containment via vaccination. Health advice has long since been updated to reflect real-world data leaving no reason for any workplace to know the vaccination status of its workers.

Granting access to this information is nothing more than an invitation to prolong the unAustralian and unethical discrimination that workers have suffered through for two years.

The only way back to ‘normal’ is with the restoration of medical privacy, not its dismantling.

We have already seen supermarket chains such as Coles and Woolworths proceed to sack staff to promote their ‘Covid Safe’ marketing line long after other businesses moved on. Do we really want to normalise this corporate behaviour?

Daniel Andrews and his government should be ashamed of themselves for abandoning the rights of the working class people in favour of Big State and Big Business overreach into people’s private lives.

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