To stay in or to opt out? That is the question!

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My Health Record
My Health Record ... are you in or are you out?

While not all grey nomads are yet to be fully convinced of the merits of the system, the rollout of the Government’s much-vaunted My Health Record system has been taken to the next level. From now until October 15, all Australians will actively need to opt out of the electronic medical records scheme if they don’t want to be a part of it.

On the very first day of the new approach, some 20,000 people opted out and it is estimated some 500,000 others will eventually do the same. If Australians don’t remove themselves from the system, the Federal Government will automatically make a digital copy of their medical record, store it centrally, and provide a number of people such as doctors, pharmacists, physiotherapists, and nurses with access.

The electronic health record details a patient’s medications, allergies and a summary of their health problems.

“My Health Record can be beneficial if an individual is travelling interstate and needs to visit a healthcare provider, as the record can be viewed securely online anywhere at any time,” a Federal Department of Health spokesperson told the GNT. “Any doctor who is treating them and connected to My Health Record will be able to see their health information.”

While in theory, grey nomads will be among the key beneficiaries of having their medical records accessible to doctors across the country, many of those who have already opted in to the service have reported it leaves a lot to be desired.

Jenny Mays signed up several years ago when she started travelling full time.

“I have since visited many doctors and a few hospitals all over Australia and not one was using the My Health Record,” she said.

Barbara Wilkinson was equally unimpressed.

“It’s nearly useless as a lot of remote doctors don’t or can’t access it,” she said. “We carry our medical files on paper and disk now, and there are no problems with that because it works every time!”

Nonetheless, the government agency responsible for the My Health Record program insists it is worth persevering with. It has sought to quell fears over online security.

“As system operator of the My Health Record system the agency takes its role as custodian of Australian’s health information seriously,” the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) said in a statement. “Protecting the integrity of the My Health Record system and maintaining public confidence and trust in the system is paramount.”

The ADHA has also sought to allay fears that individuals’ health records could be accessed by a wide range of law enforcement and other agencies without a warrant. It says it “will only consider a request from a law enforcement agency to access a My Health Record where there is a requirement by law, such as a court order or other enforceable legal instrument.”

  • Do you have high hopes for My Health Record, or will you consider opting out? Comment below.

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5 Responses to To stay in or to opt out? That is the question!

  1. Would office staff in medical centres have access to our records

  2. MHR is “not private”…it is covered by a privacy policy, but this does not ensure privacy. In fact, if you want life insurance, workers comp, travel insurance etc, you WILL have to permit access, else be declined or have an increased premium. If an incorrect diagnosis is documented on MYHR, then good luck. This WILL NOT help grey nomads, just take your medical info with you in hard copy…I would not trust MYHR and wont use it.

  3. If you are a centrelink recipient and go into a centrelink office they log into their records via the internet. Once My Health is fully operational I can’t see there being a problem as they will do the same as centrelink. If you have something to hide then maybe you would opt out.

  4. Honestly I don’t care myself

  5. I have nothing medially to hide personally…but let me give an example of what happened to a family member several years ago. They went to their doctor, unwell physically, and upset by something at work, and had a teary moment. Their doctor noted that they seemed “depressed”. No medications, no formal diagnosis…and this has comment was disclosed without consent to an insurance company…and ever since they have been “loaded” with twice the premium on their life insurance. My nephew has been incorrectly diagnosed at 9 months of age with “asthma” …despite clearly being the much more common bronchiolitis…and guess what…now, incorrectly, has a medical history indicating “asthmatic”…sure, these examples can potentially be corrected…but there are other examples…so just one of many issues of info being used incorrectly…honestly…beware of MY HR….we are not being told the full implications of centrally located, private information…let alone if someone has something very legitimate the would like to “not disclose”…eg an abortion, or pregnancy test or the fact that they have had an STI which is now cured…blah blah…I believe there are so many more reasons to be cautious. I can remember a time when banks promised that “bankcards” would never have a fee, and bankcard interest rates would NEVER by 20%…its little wonder some wise and cautious folk are skeptical about MYHR.

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