Date published: 
15 November 2018
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Morrison Government has successfully passed important privacy measures relating to My Health Record, through the Senate, strengthening Labor’s original legislation and further protecting the health information of Australians.

They include tougher penalties for those that misuse the system, strengthening provisions to safeguard against domestic violence, prohibiting employers from requesting and using health information from an individual’s My Health Record and that no health information or de-identified data be released to insurers.

The Senate has also passed amendments that law enforcement agencies can only access a person’s My Health Record with a warrant or court order and anyone who chooses to cancel a record at any time will have that record permanently deleted.

These additional measures will ensure Australians have their health information protected under law in an already secure system.

Yesterday the Government also worked with the Senate crossbench to extend the opt-out period for My Health Record.

The opt-out period will be extended until January 31, 2019, however, it’s important to note that people can opt-out or opt-in at any time in their lives.

Labor’s plan to delay and derail the roll out of My Health Record was blocked and we thank the crossbench for not delaying this important policy change.

My Health Record was designed to save lives. It can help prevent medication misadventures that see more than 230,000 people end up in hospital each year. This is almost four times the annual number of people who are hospitalised as a result of motor vehicle accidents.

More than 6 million Australians already have a My Health Record and over 14,000 healthcare professional organisations are connected, including general practices, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and pathology practices. There has never been a reported security breach of the system.