Older Australians put their health in their hands with My Health Record

Carseldine retirees Peter Button and Cathy Zappala join a legion of grey nomads ready to take their health on the road with My Health Record. 

Cathy suffers from chronic health issues and has been using My Health Record for many years to keep all her health information in one place and easily accessible for her treating doctors, specialists and hospitals.

“The benefits of My Heath Record at my age are undeniable. My wife and I are about to set off on a trip around Australia in our motorhome and we plan to rely solely on My Health Record to contain all our health information” Peter said. 

“We don’t need to worry about remembering health records from years ago and feel confident that we will receive the same level of care in a new GP compared to our usual one. I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have one.” 

My Health Record is a secure online summary of your health information. You can control what goes into it, and who is allowed to access it. You can choose to share your health information with your doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers. 

Older Australians, being people aged over 65 make up a considerable proportion of Australia’s population. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that in 2013-14, over 20 per cent of emergency department presentations were by older Australians. 

In emergency situations, treating doctors have been able to use My Health Record to view information such as current medications and Advance Care Plans to provide the appropriate treatment quickly. 

Other valuable benefits for older Australians include:

  • your important healthcare information is available in one place and easily accessible by your doctors, specialists or hospitals
  • when moving interstate or travelling, the information can be viewed securely online
  • you don’t need to remember the dates of tests or medicine names or dosages as you can access them online through the My Health Record website
  • because healthcare providers have access to clinical information prepared and shared by other health professionals, they may have a more detailed picture with which to make clinical decisions, diagnose and provide treatment.

This year, you will get a My Health Record unless you tell the Government you don’t want one. If you don’t want a My Health Record, you can opt out by 15 November 2018.

For more information or to opt out, go to MyHealthRecord.gov.au or phone 1800 723 471.

Caption: Brisbane North PHN's Zanthea Chulio with Cathy Zappala, Peter Button and Paris the dog.