The National Rural Health Alliance is urging all its 35 national member organisations to embrace My Health Record, and it asks that country people do not opt out of the system.
My Health Record is an online summary of a person's important health information. A Record will be created for all Australians by year's end unless they opt out.
OPTING OUT OF MY HEALTH RECORD
The opt out period begins Monday July 16, and runs for three months until Monday October 15.
To find out more information about opting out, visit the My Health Record website here: https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/howtos/opt-out
You can also cancel a Record if one has already been created for you.
The Alliance is partnering with the Australian Digital Health Agency to share information about My Health Record, its benefits, and information about how to opt out.
Alliance CEO Mark Diamond asks all members to recommend My Health Record its communities, and to all country people.
In a media release to be issued at the beginning of the opt out period, Mr Diamond made the following remarks.
“Australians living in rural and remote areas are more likely to end up in an emergency department seriously injured or unconscious. If the medical team doesn’t have access to their health information, that team can’t provide the best care,” Mr Diamond said.
Country people are 25% more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. They are 40% more likely to die from diabetes, and they are five times as likely to die from a road accident in remote areas.
“If you live outside a major city, you have less access to health services, and are more likely to delay getting medical treatment. That means you’re more likely to end up being hospitalised,” Mr Diamond said.
“A My Health Record means that all your important health information is at the fingertips of your doctor, nurse or surgeon,” he said.
A copy of that media relase can be accessed here.
WHO CAN ACCESS INFORMATION IN MY HEALTH RECORD (MHR)?
The Alliance has been listening closely to the rural and remote health sector’s views about My Health Record.
We have been in regular contact with the Australian Digital Health Agency, and have raised the issue of which government agencies will be able to access MHR, and in what circumstances.
Some of you in the rural and remote health sector have asked about Section 70 of the My Health Records Act 2012.
It says “The System Operator is authorised to use or disclose health information included in a healthcare recipient’s My Health Record if the System Operator reasonably believes that the use or disclosure is reasonably necessary".
However, Federal Ministers and the Australian Digital Health Agency say a court order or its equivalent is needed to disclose information held in My Health Record.
The Alliance is seeking clarification of this issue, and will keep members up to date.
MY HEALTH RECORD MATERIALS TO DOWNLOAD AND SHARE
The Australian Digital Health Agency has provided the Alliance with a range of materials and information about My Health Record.
You can access a range of information to download, print and share at a new Alliance webpage.
The page is titled My Health Record, and can be found under the Policy and Advocacy tab on the homepage, choosing Current Focus Areas.
For further information about My Health Record visit: http://bit.ly/2tmS4h3
Please note that this link is embedded with tracking software. My Health Record is trying to evaluate different methods of informing the health sector about its programs. The Alliance has been assured that the tracking software will not collect personal information that will identify an individual, and therefore the Privacy Act does not apply.