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Making Health Better
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Launch of three-month opt-out period for rest of Australia

For the rest of Australia, this week marks the launch of the three month opt-out period for the Federal Government’s My Health Record expansion program. In the northern Queensland region, most people already have a My Health Record that was created as part of the 2016 opt-out trial.

My Health Record is an online summary of an individual’s key health information, that is controlled by them, and that is easily accessible by doctors, pharmacists, specialists and hospitals.

More than 5.9 million Australians already have one, including more than 98 per cent of North Queensland residents following the 2016 trial, and by the end of the year every Australian will have a My Health Record, unless they choose not to.

Over the past two years, Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) has continued to work closely with primary healthcare providers in the region to increase knowledge and usage of the tool.

NQPHN Chief Executive Officer John Gregg said digital technology such as My Health Record is transforming healthcare.

“My Health Record has the power to improve access to services, increase collaboration and facilitate the delivery of safe, high quality and effective healthcare, which ultimately saves lives,” he said.

Having a My Health Record means important health information like allergies, medical conditions, treatments, medicine details, and test reports can all be digitally available in one place.

This can help individuals keep track of their own health history and reduce the need to repeat their health story every time they see a healthcare provider, especially when managing complex or chronic conditions.

In emergency situations, hospitals can view this information to help them make the most appropriate treatment choices quickly.

“Some people may not realise that they already have a My Health Record,” said Mr Gregg.

“The Government’s national expansion program is a great opportunity to remind residents of the benefits of using this tool, and to encourage them to explore some of the new features.

“For example, a recent addition is the connection to pathology and diagnostic services where blood, X-ray, CT, and other test reports can now be uploaded by participating organisations.

“This functionality is particularly useful when monitoring changes in chronic conditions, and can reduce the need for tests to be duplicated by multiple practitioners,” he said.

“We want to encourage those who haven’t yet used their My Health Record to access it through their MyGov account and to start asking their doctors to upload information, so that they can start to see the benefits of having control of their own health information.”

Those living in the North Queensland region who already have a My Health Record have the option to cancel at any time. You can find the ‘Cancel My Health Record’ button under the ‘Profile’ menu within your record, or you can call the My Health Record Helpline on 1800 723 471.

Those who are new to the region since July 2016 will join the rest of Australia in making a decision as to whether having a My Health Record is the right choice for them during the national opt-out period from 16 July-15 October 2018.

During this time, people who do not want a record will be able to opt-out by visiting the My Health Record website or by calling the My Health Record Helpline on 1800 723 471.

More information about My Health Record can be found at www.myhealthrecord.gov.au