Today the Government worked with the Senate crossbench to extend the opt-out period for My Health Record.
The opt-out period will be extended until January 31, 2019, however, it’s important to note that people can opt-out at any time.
Labor’s plan to delay and derail the roll out of the My Health Record was blocked today.
We thank the crossbench for not delaying this important policy change as Labor tried so desperately to do.
In comparison, the Government’s focus is on strengthening the safety and privacy of health information in the My Health Record system.
The Parliament is now considering further amendments to Labor’s original My Health Record legislation.
This includes tougher penalties for those that misuse the system, strengthening provisions to safeguard against domestic violence, prohibiting employers from requesting and using health information from an individual’s My Health Record. In addition no health information or de-identified data to be released to insurers.
These proposed amendments are in addition to the amendments announced in July, which have already passed the lower house.
They include that law enforcement agencies can only access a person’s My Health Record with a warrant or court order and anyone who chooses to cancel a record at any time will have that record permanently deleted.
My Health Record was designed to save lives. It can help prevent medication misadventures that see more than 230,000 people end up in hospital each year.
This is almost four times the annual number of people who are hospitalised as a result of motor vehicle accidents.
More than 6 million Australians already have a My Health Record and over 14,000 healthcare professional organisations are connected, including general practices, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic imaging and pathology practices. There has never been a reported security breach of the system.
The legislation to enable My Health Record to become an opt-out system passed the Parliament unanimously in 2015 and received the unanimous support of both houses and the strong endorsement of Labor.
In addition all State and Territory Health Ministers unanimously reaffirmed their support as recently as the August COAG Health Council.