The Australian Digital Health Agency and PSA have welcomed the news that nine out of 10 Australians will have a My Health Record
But Opposition health spokesperson Catherine King says the figures show the Coalition Government has “botched” its rollout.
The ADHA announced that based on the number of people eligible for Medicare as at 31 January 2019 – 25,459,544 – the participation rate is at 90.1%, with a national opt-out rate of 9.9%.
This means 2,517,921 Australians opted out of the system by the end of the opt-out period on 31 January.
The ADHA says that records created through the opt-out process will be available in the near future, and that Australians can now securely access their My Health Record via the myGov portal.
“PSA welcomes that a significant proportion of Australians now have a My Health Record and acknowledges that a number of individuals have opted out of the My Health Record system as they are able to do based on their choice, and this view should be respected,” said the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia’s national president, Dr Chris Freeman.
“Now, the hard work starts in that we need as many health professionals as possible using the system, including pharmacists.
“The more that we have clinical use of the system, the more that pharmacists and other health professionals will have the opportunity to realise the benefits.
“Our recent medicines safety report identified that over 600,000 Australians present to hospital because of problems related to medicines.
“We now have an opportunity to address some of these issues from a pharmacy perspective through access and use of the My Health Record.”
Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare Catherine King was not impressed, however.
“More than 2.5 million Australians have opted out of the My Health Record, showing just how badly the botched Liberal rollout damaged public trust in this important reform,” she said in a statement.
The opt-out figure of more than 2.5 million, revealed under Labor questioning in Senate estimates on Wednesday, does not include an estimated 300,000 other Australians who had records but cancelled them, she said.
“That’s a dramatic increase on the 1,147,000 figure the Agency revealed in October – showing 1.4 million Australians scrambled to opt out after the Government’s original planned end date.”
She said that while Labor supported an electronic record, but “the Government’s rushed implementation of an opt-out model created a range of problems and severely undermined public support for a system that could deliver enormous health benefits for all Australians”.
She again called on the Morrison Government to commission an independent Privacy Commissioner review of the system.