My Health Record takes vital step forward
Australia’s health system takes a significant step forward now that Parliament has resolved questions concerning security and privacy of the My Health Record, the Consumers Health Forum says.
Australians have until 31 January 2019 to choose to opt out of the personal electronic health record and even after that deadline people will be able to delete their health record from the system at any time.
Legislative changes passed in Parliament this week strengthen privacy and other safeguards, including banning insurers and employers from access to individual MHRs, providing more privacy for teenagers aged 14 and over, strengthening protections against risk of domestic violence and restricting which authorities can access MHRs.
“The Consumers Health Forum has supported the “opt out” arrangement as a means of supporting the earlier roll-out of MHR across Australia than would have been the case if we had stuck with the “opt in” approach which was experiencing a more gradual take-up,” the CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.
“We acknowledge that the closer scrutiny of MHR in more recent months has exposed weak points and that there were genuine concerns among some people about privacy and security.
“We believe that the amended measures protecting MHR users will assure the benefits of a national health records system will reach many more people more quickly, particularly those with chronic and complex conditions who rely on an accurate record of their medication, diagnostic tests and treatment.
“The more people who are covered by MHR, the more valuable it becomes to individuals and to the population at large,” Ms Wells said.