My Health Record opt-out period begins

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All Australians now have the opportunity to decide whether they want a My Health Record.

From yesterday, people have until 15 October to opt-out of having a record that provides an online summary of their key health information, where they can store, access and share their health information.

Almost six million Australians already have a My Health Record and 12,860 healthcare professional organisations are connected, including general practices, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and pathology practices. 

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

By the end of this year, a My Health Record will be created for every Australian, unless they choose by 15 October not to have one. 

Professor Meredith Makeham, family General Practitioner and Chief Medical Adviser to the Australian Digital Health Agency said,“My Health Record empowers Australians by giving them secure access to their own healthcare information and supports them in managing their health conditions.

“People can choose which healthcare information they’d like to store in their My Health Record and who they’d like to share it with,” said Professor Makeham.

“My Health Record aims to deliver better healthcare outcomes and safer care for people. It will reduce harm caused by medication errors because people and their healthcare providers will have access to important information about medicines and allergies. This could save your life in an emergency.

“My Health Record will help people with chronic and complex health conditions have better coordinated care. It will enable all of their clinicians to see the same healthcare information. This should also reduce avoidable hospital admissions and the unnecessary duplication of pathology and imaging investigations.”

According to Tim Kelsey, chief executive of the Australian Digital Health Agency, “My Health Record has the potential to have a significant and long-lasting positive impact on healthcare services for every Australian, and we encourage all Australians to find out about the benefits of the My Health Record.”

“My Health Record is a key priority in the Government’s National Digital Health Strategy, and a great example of the collaboration underway as government, healthcare providers, industry bodies, and Australians all work together to deliver it."