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Article image: A female arm holding mobile phone with My Health Record logo
28 July 2018

We welcome the ongoing national discussion on My Health Record. We are committed to informing all Australians about the My Health Record, and to support you in making a choice on whether to have a My Health Record created for you or to opt out.

This myth busting article will help you get the facts about My Health Record.

 

MythFact

My Health Record is a new database.

For six years, My Health Record has operated safely and securely. Almost six million Australians already have a My Health Record.

My information isn't protected and can be hacked.

 

There has never been a security breach of the My Health Record. The system is designed to the highest level of security and privacy to keep your health information safe and secure. It is monitored around the clock.

Other health IT systems like the one in Singapore have been hacked, so this will too.

My Health Record is not like other computer network databases, it’s a national electronic summary record which has to be accessed through secure and conformant software. It is not susceptible to attacks like SingHealth.

The police, Centrelink and the ATO will be able to access my record.

The System Operator will not give your health information to the police, or any other government department unless it is required to by a court or similar order. Our primary role is to protect your health information.

Government departments like the tax office will get my details.

 

No. No one can access your information without a court or similar order. In the six years of operation it has not happened once.

Doctors working for life insurance companies and my employer will access my record.

False. Only registered clinicians providing you with health care can access your record. Doctors being paid by employers and life insurance companies are not allowed to access your My Health Record for this purpose.

The Government is going to give me a My Health Record even if I don’t want one.

No. You can opt out from having a My Health Record created for you up until 15 November 2018.

After that, you can cancel at any time.

To opt out or cancel call 1800 723 471 or visit the opt-out or cancel page on our website.  

If I change my mind and decide that I no longer want a My Health Record, there is nothing I can do about it.

You can cancel your record at any time.  To cancel call 1800 723 471 or find the instructions on our website.   

Even if I cancel my record, the government will keep my information forever and use it for whatever it wants.

No. The law says the System Operator must keep an archive of a record for 30 years after the recorded death of that person. This archive is not visible to anyone other than the System Operator. This is similar to many other Australian laws for archiving of information.

Any healthcare workers can easily access my record.

False. Only registered clinicians directly caring for you can access your record.

Unauthorised access your record is a criminal offence, which can result in penalties including up to 2 years in jail.

Anyone can easily look up my most sensitive medical history and find out information about me.

False. There is no way to search My Health Record for a person. A clinician must have conformant software and be registered to use the system. And they must already have personal information about you in order to verify they are your treating clinician.

The government can’t be trusted to run this system.

The system is built to the highest privacy and security standards.

You can also further protect your privacy by putting an access code on your record like a PIN, so only healthcare providers with the code can access your record. You can also see at any time every healthcare provider organisation who has viewed you record in an audit history.

My Health Record could easily be hacked.

 

The My Health Record system is monitored 24/7. Your My Health Record cannot be accessed on the open internet and healthcare organisations must be authorised to connect to the system and use appropriate software.

In 6 years of operation it’s never been hacked.

Third party apps could get access to information in my record.

Only you can agree to an app connecting to your My Health Record. These apps are ‘view only’ and can’t store your My Health Record information on their systems.

You can cancel access at any time, and they are prohibited from using My Health Record for secondary purposes, like passing on information to third parties such as compensation lawyers.

 

» To learn more about My Health Record see our FAQs