Australians now have the option of adding a digital Medicare card with anti-fraud features to the myGov app, as the federal government continues works to integrate the card into Service NSW’s app.
Government services minister Bill Shorten revealed the digital Medicare card on Thursday, which he said would offer greater ease of access for users of Australia’s universal health care insurance scheme.
The digital card comes almost four months after the government launched the myGov app and seven months after the revamped Adobe-based myGov platform – both the result of a three year program of work at Services Australia.
More than a million Australians have downloaded the myGov app since it was launched in December, with downloads averaging 10,000 each weekday in the first three months, according to the government.
Unlike the static Medicare card available in the Express Plus Medicare app, the digital card in myGov adds QR code verification and a hologram to help prevent fraud, like the New South Wales government’s Digital Driver Licence (DDL).
“As with all items in the myGov wallet, the Medicare card has protections against fraud and theft, including a hologram and QR code,” Mr Shorten said in a statement announcing the digital card on Thursday.
“The animated hologram shows that the card is not just a screenshot and the QR code can be scanned by health professionals to confirm the card is genuine and valid.”
The Medicare card joins the existing Centrelink concession cards and International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate in the myGov app’s digital wallet, both of which have been available since December.
The government is planning to add more credentials the app in the future, starting with the NSW DDL by the end of June, having struck and agreement with the NSW government earlier this year to work more closely on digital.
The agreement will also see the NSW government embed the digital Medicare card in the Service NSW app, giving NSW residents greater choice.
“This is just the beginning. I’ve already announced that later this year, people will have the option of adding their NSW driver licence to their myGov app,” Minister Shorten said.
“We’re also working to make the Medicare card available for those who prefer to use the Service NSW app to store their digital credentials.
“At the end of the day, it’s about simplifying government for people and giving them more choice in how they connect with the services they need.”
Minister Shorten has also previously the potential to use myGov to nudge people to consider health screening and other preventative treatments as they age.
An independent audit of myGov in January urged the federal government to commit long-term ongoing funding of more than $100 million a year to the platform in recognition of the platform’s criticality.
The panel has suggested the government create a ‘myGov Development Fund’ modelled on the NSW government’s Digital Restart Fund to “support the connection of new services and the uplift of existing services to compliance with the Australian Government Architecture”.
The Secretaries Digital and Data Committee is now considering ‘Digital Readiness Fund’ to support federal digital projects, such as proof-of-concepts, outside of the government’s ordinary budgetary cycle.
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