In 2019, all Australians with a Medicare Card will receive a My Health Record, unless they opt out.
SCoA is working with the Australian Digital Health Agency to make sure Australia’s newest residents are aware of the My Health Record and their rights with respect to opting out of having a My Health Record created for them this year.
Once they have a Medicare card, any migrant (including eligible temporary visa holders) will automatically receive a My Health Record later this year, unless they choose to opt-out. It is therefore crucial that new arrivals understand the implications of having a My Health Record and the option of opting out.
Following recent developments, including efforts to enhance privacy features of the My Health Record and supporting legislation, the federal government has extended the opt-out period to 31 January 2019.
It is important that anyone who chooses to opt out does so before that date, however if a person later decides they do not want to have a record, they can always cancel their record.
What is My Health Record?
My Health Record is a secure online summary of health information which can be viewed by consumers at any time and from anywhere. Patients and healthcare professionals will be able to add a range of medical records and important information to a patient’s My Health Record that can then be shared with other healthcare professionals at the patient’s discretion. Over 6 million people already have a My Health Record.
Importantly, anyone who has a My Health Record will be able to set security and privacy settings that suit them, with the ability to control which healthcare professionals are able to access which information.
What actions need to be taken?
Anyone who is happy to have a My Health Record created does not need to take any action. My Health Records will be created automatically later this year. It is recommended that anyone who receives a My Health Record take steps to review the privacy settings once it has been created and consider restricting access to their personal information.
If an individual chooses not to have a My Health Record they must personally take steps to opt out, either by calling the My Health Record Help line on 1800 723 471 or visiting the My Health Record website. They must take this action prior to 15 November 2018.
How can Settlement Service Providers help?
SCoA members are encouraged to explain the My Health Record initiative to their clients and ensure they understand the process above. It is possible to assist a client to understand how to complete the opt-out process, however the decision must come from the individual (who will be required to prove their identity).
We recommend you regularly remind clients of the 15 November 2018 deadline to opt out if they wish.
What information is available?
Attached to this article you will find some general information about My Health Record and the opt-out period. You can print this information and provide it to your clients where relevant.
There is also consumer information available to download on the website or MHR microsite, including in-language collateral in various languages including Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Punjabi, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, Persian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Yumplatok and Kriol.
For access to larger quantities of printed materials, included the in-language information, you are encouraged to contact your local Primary Health Network representative, or email SCoA at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist.
A range of video resources are also available via the My Health Record YouTube channel.
The Australian Digital Health Agency and Primary Health Networks (PHNs) across the country are hosting a range of information sessions, both for the general public and for service providers. We encourage all members to contact your local PHN and attend information sessions. PHNs can also provide information sessions for SCoA members and clients if requested.
SCoA is also in talks with the Australian Digital Health Agency to organise a webinar specifically for the settlement sector. More detail will be provided on this in due course.
By providing the above information, SCoA does not endorse My Health Record, nor make any recommendation with respect to opting out. If members or their clients require more detail about whether to opt out of My Health Record, we recommend they visit the My Health Record website or call the Help line on 1800 723 471, or contact their local Primary Health Network.