You may have heard talk about My Health Record lately. So what is it? My Health Record was developed by the Australian Government and is an online record of your health information. This information includes your allergies, medical conditions, medication, and test results (e.g. blood tests, STI tests, and cervical screening tests). Unless you choose not to have a My Health Record, your electronic record will be created for you by the end of 2018.
My Health Record was set up so that people can keep track of their own health information online. Health professionals can upload this information onto your record, as well as access it when you need treatment. For example, emergency department doctors can look at your medical history and allergies on My Health Record and provide you the safe and appropriate care that you need. So My Health Record definitely has its benefits! However, some people don’t want their personal information being recorded or accessed by others, and that’s ok too. That’s why you can ask health professionals to not upload your information and choose whether or not to let certain health professionals see your records. If you’re still not interested, there’s an “opt out” period until 15 November 2018 for anyone that doesn’t want a My Health Record. If you happen to miss the opt-out period, don’t stress – you can still cancel your record after this date.
So what does this all mean for young people?
If you’re under the age of 18 then your parent or guardian can sign you up for a My Health Record. When this happens, they are considered to be your authorised representative and have control over managing your records, including who can see them. Your parent or guardian can opt you out of a My Health Record during the opt-out period, and if you’re aged 14 or over you can opt-out or cancel your record yourself even if your parents have already registered you. Keep in mind that if you’d like to opt-out, you’ll need to have your Medicare number handy. When you turn 18 or take control of your My Health Record, access of any authorised representatives will automatically be cancelled.
Once you turn 14 you can take control over your own My Health Record, even if your parent or guardian created one for you. If you decide to do this you can choose whether or not you’d like your parent or guardian to be able to see your records. If you decide not to take control of your My Health Record, your authorised representative will keep managing it for you until you turn 18. If you’re not sure if your parent or guardian has already registered you, you can call the My Health Record Helpline on 1800 723 471.
Once you turn 15 you can also get your own Medicare card and be removed from your family Medicare card. This means that your parent or guardian will not be the authorised representative anymore and will not be able to see any of your records.
But what if I’m under the age of 14?
If you’re under 14 and would like to either opt-out or take control of your My Health Record you will have to show the Australian Digital Health Agency that you can make your own decisions about your healthcare. Evidence for this could include a document from your doctor in support of this; however, decisions will be made based on each person. If you’d like more information about this, call the My Health Record Helpline on 1800 723 471.
Still have more questions?
The WA Primary Health Alliance is running a series of community information sessions that you can attend and ask questions about My Health Record. For session dates follow the WA Primary Health Alliance Facebook page or visit their website.
If face-to-face info sessions aren’t really your thing then check out the My Health Record website or give the My Health Record Helpline a call on 1800 723 471. There’s also a My Health Record YouTube Channel that has videos to help you out with things like opting out, setting up privacy controls, finding documents, and adding information to your My Health Record.