Date published: 
16 July 2018
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Almost six million Australians already have a My Health Record with patients benefiting from the secure summary of their key health information, which can help their health professionals deliver better care and may save their life in an emergency.

The secure My Health Record has been in operation for over six years and from today all Australians will be able to decide if they want a My Health Record with individuals who wish to opt out able to do so at any time by visiting the My Health Record website or calling 1800 723 471 for assistance via phone.

Additional support is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, people with limited digital literacy, and those living in rural and remote regions.

Australians can manage privacy and control access to their My Health Record including what information gets uploaded and who has access such as family members, carers and healthcare providers.

The My Health Record system has multiple layers of security to protect access to the system, including defence level encryption, secure gateways and firewalls, authentication mechanisms, and malicious content filtering.

The Australian Digital Health Agency’s Cyber Security Centre monitors for suspicious activities and the centre will trigger an investigation when required.

My Health Record and this opt-out model has the support of all state and territories governments who endorsed this approach through COAG Health Council.

There is also widespread support for My Health Record from national health and consumer peak bodies including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Consumer Health Forum (CHF) and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA).

“My Health Record will enable medical practitioners to make quicker treatment decisions following fast and secure access to patient records.
We at AMA strongly believe Australians with a My Health Record will experience significant healthcare benefits and encourage individuals to think about their decision to participate in the program,” AMA President, Dr. Tony Bartone said.

Consumers Health Forum CEO Leanne Wells encourages Australians to take the time now to understand My Health Record and make an informed decision about their future health management.

“My Health Record gives Australians more power to control access to their healthcare records. Every Australian has a right to choose how they manage their healthcare so it is key that people learn about My Health Record now and ensure they understand the impact it could have on their future,” said Ms Wells.

“The RACGP believes individuals will experience a range of benefits from having My Health Record and we are supporting GPs to help inform Australians about the health and economic advantages My Health Record can deliver to the nation,” RACGP President elect Dr Harry Nespolon said.

The Turnbull Government is investing $374.2 million to expand Australia’s My Health Record for every Australian.

The My Health Record system will help save and protect lives and is supported by healthcare consumers, doctors and the medical community across Australia. It is subject to some of the strongest legislation in the world to prevent unauthorised use.

Individuals, who wish to opt out, can do so until 15th October, 2018. Opt out can be done by visiting the My Health Record website or calling 1800 723 471 for assistance via phone.