The Australian Government Department of Health is rolling out the My Health Record online system which allows medical professionals to access a complete medical history of a patient. Patients can restrict access, require codes to access information, and receive notifications when their record is accessed. Although there are security options in place, concerns remain about the confidentiality of records and the possibility of health professionals accessing records unnecessary to the patient’s visit.
Bernard Robertson-Dunn, from the Australian Privacy Foundation told The Guardian,“If somebody has a medical condition that might result in discrimination – specifically HIV or mental health problems – they don’t want their data shared. There’s vulnerable communities… who feel at risk.”
Family members and carers can also access general, restricted, or full information if they are a nominated representative.
In 2018, every Australian will get a My Health Record. However, if you decide you don’t want a record, you can opt out during a three-month period from 16 July to 15 October 2018.
Please see information below from the Australian Department of Health on the process to opt out of the My Health Record system:
When you have a My Health Record, your health information can be viewed securely online, from anywhere, at any time – even if you move or travel interstate. You can access your health information from any computer or device that’s connected to the internet.
Whether you’re visiting a GP for a check-up, or in an emergency room following an accident and are unable to talk, healthcare providers involved in your care can access important health information, such as:
- medicines you are taking
- medical conditions you have been diagnosed with
- pathology test results like blood tests.
How to opt out of getting a My Health Record
If you don’t have a My Health Record and don’t want one created for you, you will need to opt out.
Click the ‘opt out now’ button on this page to get started. You will need to verify your identity, and provide personal details such as your name and date of birth.
You don’t need a myGov account to complete the opt-out process.
If you complete the opt-out process online, you have the option to receive an email confirmation. Remember to check your SPAM or junk folder if you do not see the message in your inbox.
Information you will need to opt out
To opt out of My Health Record, you need to verify your identity.
You will need:
- your Medicare Card, or Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) card, and
- one of the following forms of Australian identification:
- your driver licence; or
- your passport; or
- your ImmiCard
If you have lost your Medicare card, or don’t know your Medicare number, contact Medicare to find out your details. Note that you may experience wait times when contacting the Department of Human Services call centre.
Opt out on behalf of children or dependents
If you have parental responsibility for children under the age of 18, and they are listed on your Medicare card, you can opt out of My Health Record on their behalf. Follow the steps in the online process.
Children aged 14 and over may also choose to opt out individually online. They will need their Medicare number to do so.
For other dependents you have legal responsibility for, contact us for assistance.