Privacy fears under Medicare Locals

Medicare Locals have been accused of a "gross breach of patient privacy" for forcing GPs to hand over sensitive health information on patients wanting to access subsidised psychological services.

Bayside Medicare Local in Melbourne wrote to GPs in the area in October, telling them to attach a copy of patients' mental health treatment plans with every referral request for the Federal Government's Access to Allied Psychological Services scheme.

The Medicare Local would then use this information to determine if individuals deserved access to the program, which subsidises psychological