My Health Record update

After 31 January 2019, a My Health Record will be created for every Australian who wants one and Australians can now opt in or opt out at any time. A person can delete their record permanently any time if they decide they don’t want one. If they change their mind, they can get a My Health Record in the future.

The Australian Digital Health Agency will shortly be sending a communication pack to all hospitals, health services, general practices, Aboriginal medical services and pharmacies updating them about the updated legislation and extension of the opt-out period. 

The new laws prohibit the release of health information in a person’s My Health Record to law enforcement agencies and government agencies without their express consent or an order from a judicial officer. 

These laws, which were passed in Australian Parliament in November 2018, also prohibit by law access to My Health Records by anyone for insurance or employment purposes.

When a minor turns 14, their authorised representatives will be automatically removed from their record. Technical changes to the My Health Record system will be made to reflect this change in law, and implemented in the system as soon as practicable. We advise, as is best practice, for clinicians to continue to discuss with their patient what information should be uploaded to their My Health Record.

There are also greater protections for people at risk of family violence.

These changes are in response to the Australian community’s calls for even stronger privacy and security protections for people using My Health Record.

The communication pack includes a summary of legislative change plus consumer and provider factsheets. 

For more information visit the information for health professionals page of the My Health Record website.