Aussies rush to opt out of new My Health Record

July 23, 2018

Users have experienced difficulties with the federal government’s new My Health Record website as Australians rush to opt out of having their medical records added to a national digital database.

The Conservative Party has some privacy concerns in relation to the My Health Record system and this week users reported experiencing technical difficulties when they tried to opt out saying they were unable to complete the process online.

Others using the telephone hotline faced long waiting times, and many found once the wait was over, call centre workers were unable to help because of systems crashing or slowing.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Tony Bartone says the system will move the industry from a “prehistoric” way of information sharing and collate data that is already in the hands of the medical industry, albeit not linked or even digitised.

“It will bring data presently located in many different parts of the health system … and attempt to bring it into an online repository in the one place,” he told news.com.au.

“Your health data is already in various portals. What isn’t there yet is this online, connected repository … that will facilitate a communication revolution.”

The scheme has been a long time coming and medical professionals are quick to point out the potential benefits to patient care it will provide.

But advocacy groups such as Digital Rights Watch have expressed concerns about the security of the My Health Record initiative, and are urging everyone to opt out.

“No guarantees have being given that individual citizen’s personal information will be kept safe and secure,” Digital Rights Watch chairman Tim Singleton Norton warned saying, “Health information is incredibly attractive to scammers and criminal groups".

Senator Bernardi has told the Triple M network's Luke Bona he's not very confident privacy guarantees will be sustainable.

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