It has been a productive time for the My Health Expansion Program. The opt-out date has been extended to 31 January 2019 giving Australians more time to decide if they want a My Health Record or not. More information can be found at www.myhealthrecord.gov.au.
Additionally, the Australian Parliament has passed the My Health Record Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018 which improves safety and security features of My Health Record.
In summary, the changes are:
Use of My Health Record information by employers and insurers
The Australian Digital Health Agency will not approve the release of an individual's personal or health information to a third party except where it is related to the provision of healthcare or is otherwise authorised or required by law.
Access by law enforcement and government agencies
Under the Agency’s official operating policy, no information within My Health Record can be released without an order from a judicial officer.
Permanent deletion of a cancelled My Health Record
You will be able to permanently delete a My Health Record at any time, if you decide you would no longer like one. No archived copy or back up will be kept and deleted information won’t be able to be recovered.
Greater privacy for teenagers aged 14 and over
Once a teenager turns 14, parents will automatically be removed as authorised representatives.
Increased penalties for misuse of information
Harsher fines and penalties will apply for inappropriate or unauthorised use of information in a My Health Record.
Strengthening protections for victims of domestic and family violence
Under the changes, the Agency will no longer be obliged to notify people of certain decisions if doing so would put another person at risk.
In addition, parents subject to a court order, where they do not have unsupervised access to their child, or who pose a risk to the life, health and safety of the child or another person will no longer be eligible to be an Authorised Representative.
Government agencies involved in managing the My Health Record system
Apart from the Department of Health and the Chief Executive of Medicare, no other government agency or private organisation can be involved in managing and accessing the My Health Record system.
Use of My Health Record data for research purposes
A Data Governance Board will be established to approve the release of secondary use of data.
No commercial use of My Health Record data
The My Health Record system cannot be privatised or used for commercial purposes.