The conversations of life

This is important – don’t have a My Health Record yet? You will soon

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Quietly your health record is being opened up – and we reckon this is a good thing. It will save lives – and money for more health services.

At the recent COAG Health Ministers meeting in Melbourne, the State and Territory Ministers voted unanimously to support a national opt-out approach of the My Health Record system.

Launched as the opt-in Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) in 2012, the troubled system has since cost taxpayers an eye-watering $1.2 billion.

Credit: My Health Record
Credit: My Health Record

Yet there are still only 4.7 million Australians with a My Health Record – around one in five people.

The Government has been trialling the opt-out model in the Nepean Blue Mountains and North Queensland regions since June last year, creating around 1 million new My Health Records.

Less than two per cent of people “opted out”, according to a Department of Health spokesman.

While there’s no timeline for the roll-out – the Department tells us “there is still further work and consultation to be done” – funding for the current system runs out next year so more will need to be allocated in the 2018-19 budget.

Few of us using My Health Record

We need to get on board. The system can only work if we actually use it. As we highlighted here, only 130,000 documents have been uploaded by us – the consumer.

That’s compared to 1.8 million documents by healthcare providers.

Just over 900 people have uploaded an Advanced Care Directive, a document that is critical to making your end-of-life care wishes known – despite My Health Record being the only national system where you can upload one.

Just 13 per cent of current users are over the age of 65, while only 25 per cent are aged 40 to 64.

The Government needs to ensure we know how to access this technology – and we have to use it.

Click here to learn how. Otherwise it’s our hard-earned dollars going to waste.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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