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New function expected to strengthen public trust in My Health Record


Matt Woodley


24/01/2019 2:22:28 PM

Australians are now able to permanently delete their My Health Record, with planned changes officially coming into effect.

A new My Health Record function will give people the option to permanently delete their record at any time.
A new My Health Record function will give people the option to permanently delete their record at any time.

Individuals who wanted to opt out of My Health Record could previously only restrict the access of doctors and other officials.
 
However, the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) has created a new function that enables people to permanently delete their record at any time, including whatever back-ups that may have existed.
 
Consumers Health Forum of Australia CEO Ms Leanne Wells said the added feature should strengthen public trust in the system.
 
‘This change will reassure those people who were concerned that their decision to opt out of My Health Record would not prevent their record being accessed by officials at some later time,’ she said.
 
‘This step comes as Australians have just one more week to decide whether or not to opt out of My Health Record, one of the most significant developments in our health system for many years.’
 
Aside from allowing the permanent deletion of records, the legislation also prevents law enforcement agencies from accessing records without a warrant or court order.
 
The new function is a result of legislation passed last November, brought about by extensive lobbying from healthcare professionals – including RACGP President Dr Harry Nespolon.
 
At the time, Dr Nespolon praised the Government’s decision to strengthen privacy laws related to the My Health Record, describing it as a ‘clear win’ for patients.
 
The RACGP also helped improve privacy protection for teenagers aged 14–17, advocating for changes that prevent parents from having automatic access to their records.
 
To date, around one million people have opted out of the My Health Record, and any records that have already been cancelled will now be permanently deleted from the system.
 
The extended opt-out deadline is due to expire on 31 January, following which anyone remaining in the system will have a health record created within 30 days.



Australian Digital Health Agency My Health Record opt-out privacy



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