National expansion of My Health Record in 2018 confirmed in Budget announcement
The Federal Government announced in the 2017 Budget, a commitment of $374.2 million over two years to the My Health Record to continue and expand the system with a My Health Record for every Australian by December 2018.
Informed by the findings of the evaluation of the participation trials in 2016 that tested an opt-out approach with two large communities against the current self-register model, the independent researchers strongly recommended moving to a national opt-out model to bring forward benefits of the system to both consumers and the wider healthcare system.
Currently over 4.8 million people already have self-registered for a My Health Record however by the end of 2018 almost all patients will have a digital health record. This should bring more timely access to important health information by both the consumers and their treating healthcare providers.
There will be an opportunity for every Australian to opt out if they do not want a record in mid 2018. The Agency has created a subscription email for individuals to register to receive an email when the opt out period begins next year. Individuals can register at the My Health Record Website.
As the System Operator for the My Health Record, the Australian Digital Health Agency (the Agency) is responsible for implementing the budget measure and will be working with key stakeholders and partners to ensure the successful implementation of the expansion programme.
The Federal Department of Health has entered into compacts (also known as agreements), with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) securing their participation and support in the delivery of this programme. The Pharmacy Guild has also expressed their commitment to working with the Agency to explore ways to maximise the use of community pharmacy as a component in the My Health Record system.
The automatic creation of My Health Record for every Australian will begin from mid-2018. For updates and more information, go to the Healthcare Providers section of the My Health Record website.