My Health Record – Opt Out Whilst You Can

Opt Out
Opt Out


The concept is good. The implementation poor. The potential negatives are not yet fully known. Already though, there are compelling reasons to opt-out of the government’s My Health Record. And most importantly, make sure you opt kids/grand-kids out. 

Opt-out here –

If you don’t opt-out before 15 October 2018 (now extended to 15 November 2018) you have no choice in the matter; there will be a ‘My Health’ record created on you.

Why is this a problem?

Well, there are numerous reasons. Some are:

  1. Life and Health insurers – I deal with life insurers and know that most times when they assess someone and decide whether to offer cover, they want a ‘medical authority’. They can use this to contact your doctor to see why you last saw the doctor and get any details on issues you may have told the insurers about in the application form. In future they will just ask for ‘My Health authority’ and see your complete history … over your entire lifetime if you’re a child now. The Prime Minister has confirmed this is likely to happen. This negative doesn’t impact adults who have no need for life insurance, or already have it. But, in my professional opinion, it will adversely impact your children/grand-children. Primary carers for children who share their medicare card can opt the children out of having a lifetime record of their medical information. I’d urge people to do this; it is more important to opt your kids out, then you yourself opt-out.
  2. Government Departments – “Section 70 of the My Health Records Act, which empowers the Australian Digital Health Agency to disclose patients’ health information to police, courts and the Australian Taxation Office without a warrant, if they did not opt out.” Some people are fine with  big brother; I’m not. Thanks to Dr Kerryn Phelps and Fairfax for alerting us to this.
  3. Private companies – As itnews wrote last year, “The federal Health department has no plan outlining how its supplier Telstra will manage the privacy and security of the new national cancer screening register, one year on from the contract being signed, the national auditor has found.” Telstra is a private company, who’s next Huawei?
  4. Data breach – Probably what most people are concerned about; data being hacked by bad people. Yeah it happens, and just this week Singapore experienced a ‘SingHealth’ data hack. (And note the heading of the linked article – “Another Singapore agency discovers data theft…”. A further example is here and involves the UK failed system which Australia’s is based on. “Experts are brutally slamming the Australian Government’s new health record system they say has been oversold and is so insecure the risk of using it greatly outweighs any benefits.”
  5. Kept for 30 years after death – Hard to believe, but the My Health record will be kept for 30 years after your death. “Once your record is cancelled, it will be kept for 30 years after your death or, if the date of death is unknown, for 130 years after the date of your birth.” Sure, your’re dead what do you care; but why does the government want to keep the information for so long? It’s clearly not to deliver you better health care whilst your six feet under.

The question to ask isn’t whether you should opt-out, but why you haven’t already.

Opt-out here –


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