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Esther's My Health Record story

Aboriginal LGBTI woman, Esther Montgomery, is living with chronic health conditions including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and stage 2 renal disease. Esther encourages everyone to learn the facts about My Health Record to decide whether it's right for them.  

What is My Health Record?

My Health Record is an online summary of your key health information. It shows important health information such as existing conditions, current medications and your Indigenous status, if you choose.

When you have a My Health Record, your health information can be viewed securely online, from anywhere, at any time – in the city, remote communities and even if you travel or move interstate. You can access your health information from any computer, phone or tablet that’s connected to the internet.

My Health Record is a secure system that puts you in control. You choose which trusted healthcare providers can access your records and what information is stored there.

Parts of the Northern Territory have been using elements of the My Health Record system for more than seven years.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have already seen positive health benefits of My Health Record including:

  • Connected care – Your health information is available in one place and can be accessed by doctors, specialists, hospital staff and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health practitioners. It means healthcare providers have a more complete view of your needs.
  • Portable healthcare – A digital record will make it easier to move between healthcare providers, without having to repeat your medical history on every visit. You can access your My Health Record wherever you go, whether you’re travelling for your health needs or to visit family. This will be particularly useful if you have a chronic health condition, take lots of different medications, or need extra support.
  • Emergency help – In an emergency situation, healthcare providers can temporarily access your information, including allergies and current medications, to ensure you get the best care.
  • Better health experience – My Health Record builds your medical history over time. Healthcare providers will not have to spend time searching for missing information, providing you with a better experience.  

Identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in My Health Record

Your Closing the Gap (CTG) Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Co-payment Measure will not be visible in the My Health Record.

When you first set up your My Health Record you will be asked whether you identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or both. This information will assist in planning and providing appropriate and improved healthcare and services, but will not entitle you to access the CTG PBS Co-Payment Measure. No proof needs to be provided to identify. You may also choose not to identify.

Managing your My Health Record

You might like help with your My Health Record from someone you trust, like a family member or carer.

You can choose to register that person as a nominated representative so they can manage your My Health Record on your behalf. This could be important if you have chronic health conditions or if you are an elder who would like extra support.

Next time you see your doctor, talk to them about uploading a summary of your visit to your My Health Record.

Case study: Access to prescriptions wherever you go

Jim and Cindy live in Far North Queensland and love travelling across Australia to see friends and family. But they also need to ensure Cindy’s Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus can be managed on the road. Recently, on a trip interstate, Cindy realised she had left behind her prescription, which she uses to control her blood sugar levels. Despite being far away from her GP, Cindy was able to visit a different doctor and bring up her medical history using My Health Record. My Health Record makes it easier for Cindy to take her medical history with her and ensure no matter where she is, her health is taken care of.

Opt in or opt out of My Health Record at any time in your life. It’s your choice.

A My Health Record will be created for every Australian who wants one after 31 January 2019. After then, you can permanently delete your record at any time. If you change your mind, you can also re-register for one in the future.

If you don’t want a record created for you after 31 January 2019, you can opt out online.

 

“Australia is a big place, especially if you’re looking at where indigenous people live. Many of them are travelling for health reasons. My Health Record means they don’t have to carry their documents – their record goes with them.”

Robert Ooi

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