Health record opt-out time extended

My Health Record opt-out cut off is this Thursday

Australians will have more time to opt out of the controversial My Health Record system after an extension was approved.

"Labor's plan to delay and derail the roll out of the My Health Record was blocked today", Mr Hunt said in a statement.

"The Australian Digital Health Agency notifies the OAIC in all instances where there may have been a "notifiable data breach" which is a defined term". The easiest way is to go to www.myhealthrecord.gov.au, or to call 1800 723 471.

The date change is yet to be updated on the My Health Record page.

Since the opt-out period began, more than 1.5 million Australians removed their details, with 20,000 requesting their information be taken offline on the first day of the initiative.

Another concern was that perpetrators of domestic violence perpetrators might be able to find the addresses of former partners, particularly if both are parents and have access to their children's health data.

It's not just your doctor who will have access to your sensitive health information - your dietitian or podiatrist could too, unless you set up special controls.

A spokeswoman for the Minister previously told News Corp: "My Health Record was created to save lives and has the backing of all the major medical groups including the AMA".

Victims of domestic violence would also be better protected, and private health insurers would be unable to access data even when it had been de-identified.

Kerryn Phelps, the newly-elected independent for Wentworth, said the extension "may" give parliament enough time to pass further protections.

The protections and other changes are awaiting the green light from parliament, with the House of Representatives to resume on November 26.

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Under section 70 of the legislation police and government agencies such as the Australian Taxation Office will be able to get access to the information without a court order.

"There is widespread confusion surrounding the rollout of My Health Record", Dr Phelps told News Corp. Tech experts from Melbourne University showed in 2016 how easy it was to re-identify Medicare data and they say it is nearly impossible to fully de-identify health data. Experts had previously warned that a major privacy breach was inevitable. This happened because someone inside the system broke the law.

"In addition, they can subsequently delete certain parts of their records once they have been upload".

"There has never been a reported security breach of the system", Hunt said. There's also the potential for data breaches which could result in your records being used for god knows what.

Health Minister Greg Hunt had already delayed the deadline by a month - it was supposed to hit in October.

Vijay Varadharajan, Microsoft Chair Professor in Innovation in Computing Director, acknowledged that there is a growing trend in information going digital, but there were flaws in My Health. And maybe the government can invest in some more bandwidth in the meantime.

"There is obvious broad disquiet and substantive community concern: over a million people have opted out; there have been reports of recurrent crashes of the opt-out web site and helpdesk; and the number of people wanting to opt-out seems to have jumped, in line with the recent increased publicity", Robertson-Dunn said last week.

The My Health Record is likely to be useful for older Australians and those with chronic and complex health conditions and people taking multiple medications.

Mr Hunt's office said the Australian Digital Health Agency had "no evidence that any of these matters led to unauthorised access to any individuals' health information".

Patients with a My Health Record won't need to remember all the details of their medical story, such as their prescriptions or the tests they've had.

If you decide to opt out of the My Health Record you can do so online here.

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