My Health Record: Positives & Negatives

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My Health Record: Positives & Negatives

Quick Points:

  • The Australian Government is switching the national ‘My Health Record’ program from opt-in to opt-out.
  • Unless you choose to opt out by 15 October 2018, the ADHA (Australian Digital Health Agency) will create a digital health record for you.
  • Because of the extent – and sensitivity – of data stored on the My Health database it will (at some point) experience a data breach. Either through maliciousness or carelessness.
  • You can opt-out here


  • If you are in a situation where you’re unable to personally communicate to medical staff that you have a chronic health condition, they can access your My Health Record for instruction.
  • Centralises your medical details and reduces duplication of information.
  • Provides a ‘snapshot’ of your health, such as prescriptions or tests you have taken.


  • Centralising so much information increases the likelihood of a security breach.
  • Private insurance companies have already requested access to their member’s digital health records, likely for marketing or to exclude clients from services

More Detail:

ADHA will automatically sign you up for a digital health record unless you opt out by the 15th of October 2018. On the My Health Record website, the ADHA describes the record as an ‘online summary of your key health information,’ noting:

  • Allergies
  • Medications you’re taking
  • Diagnosed conditions
  • Pathology test results

It will collate information from healthcare professionals (e.g. your GP), Medicare, and you can add additional information. For example emergency contact, current medications, or allergy information.

There is a clear benefit for some people with chronic illnesses, severe allergies, or other important information that a medical professional might need to know in an emergency. However, significant issues surround the scheme; at some point, a data breach will occur, and your most sensitive and personal information may fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, ensure that you’re informed and actively decide whether you’d like a Digital Health Record.

Further Reading:

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