Epworth supports My Health Record legislation

Opt in or opt out at any time: Epworth supports My Health Record legislation strengthening privacy and security

The opt-out period for My Health Record has been extended – with no closing date.
A My Health Record will be created for every Australian who wants one from 31 January 2019. After then, you can delete your record permanently at any time.


Epworth Chief Medical Officer Luis Prado today confirmed Epworth’s support for the amended legislation that promotes greater health outcomes and protects the privacy and security of people’s health information.

“My Health Record gives people access to their own healthcare information and stores these important records in a secure electronic environment.  This will enable healthcare professionals to better manage their ongoing treatment, especially in an emergency situation,” A/Prof Prado said.

In summary, the changes

  • allow Australians to permanently delete their records, and any backups, at any time
  • explicitly prohibit access to My Health Records by insurers and employers
  • provide greater privacy for teenagers 14 years and over 
  • strengthen existing protections for people at risk of family and domestic violence 
  • clarify that only the Australian Digital Health Agency,* the Department of Health and the Chief Executive of Medicare (and no other government agency) can access the My Health Record system
  • explicitly require law enforcement and other agencies to produce a court order to access information in My Health Records and
  • make clear that the system cannot be privatised or used for commercial purposes

To find out more about My Health Record go to www.myhealthrecord.gov.au

What is My Health Record?

My Health Record is an Australian Government initiative in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency that provides the technology to store an online summary of your health information.


Over time, your doctors and health providers can add summaries of the most important healthcare events to these records, so that you may receive prompt attention in future, avoiding the need for repetition of your health history and duplication of results.


What sort of information will My Health Record hold?

My Health Record will house health details such as medical treatments, current medications, results of tests, scans, allergies, prescriptions, referrals and even your end-of-life wishes.


You can control which information you want to have stored on these records. With your consent, the information uploaded by the government includes Medicare and the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA), PBS medications, RPBS medications, organ donor decisions and immunisation history.


What about my privacy?

Only authorised health providers who work in Australia can see this information. The security and privacy of your information is important and strict rules and regulations on who can see or use your My Health Record are in place.  


You control who can see your information. By setting access codes, you can choose who sees your record and what’s in it.


What capability does Epworth have for My Health Record?

Epworth is working towards providing specific medical staff with secure access to view the My Health Record of patients admitted to Epworth facilities. The capability to enable will see a gradual roll-out planned for the first quarter of 2019.


Is My Health Record already up and running? 

Yes. The Australian Digital Health Agency reports that more than 6.3 million Australians already have a My Health Record and 14,000 healthcare professional organisations are connected, including general practices, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and pathology practices.

Do I need to register?

If you want to register now, you can do so through MyGov by following these three steps:

  1. ​Create a myGov account​ or login to your existing account if you already have one
  2. Verify your identity
  3. Set up your My Health Record

How can someone opt out of automatically having a My Health Record created?

Go to https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/opt-out-my-health-record and click on the Opt out now function. You will need your Medicare card or Department of Veteran's Affairs (DVA) card and one of the following forms of Australian identification:

  • Your driver licence; or
  • Your passport; or
  • Your ImmiCard.
Note: You do not need a myGov account to complete the opt-out process.

Refer to the website for opting out on behalf of children aged 14 or under or dependants over the age of 18. If you need assistance, you can contact the Help line on 1800 723 471.

Forms will also be provided by the Australian Digital Health Agency, on request, to groups limited by cultural, language or remote barriers.

Can I get a My Health Record in the future if I opt out then change my mind?

Yes you can. Follow the steps on the website to register for a My Health Record.


You will need to set up a myGov account, verify your identity then set up your My Health Record.


*About the Australian Digital Health Agency: The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information: www.digitalhealth.gov.au​