Penrith has been selected to trial a new way of keeping health records.
My Health Record was launched last Friday and up to 360,000 residents in the Nepean and Blue Mountains area will soon have an account automatically created for them.
The record will contain details of a patient’s health status uploaded by their doctor, records of any medicines used and any allergies the patient has.
Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, said she is excited about the launch.
“I’ve been waiting for this day since becoming Health Minister,” she said.
“In last year’s budget we announced a $485 million multi-year funding commitment to reboot the failure of what was called the Personally Controlled e-Health Record, now known as My Health Record.
“The sooner we can roll out this opt-out option nationally, the better.”
Residents will have to notify the Government if they don’t want to have a record by June, with all residents receiving a letter from the Department of Heath with details about the system.
Ms Ley said privacy concerns shouldn’t arise in the new system.
“Consumers are able to lock down their record with a password, so no one can access it unless they’re given a password and are able to restrict access to specific GPs or hospitals,” she said.
“They are able to see every time a provider accesses their record and to report unauthorised access for investigation and prosecution and are also able to delete files from their record, genuinely making it their health record.”
Local Penrith GP, Dr Daryl Chamberlain, said there are clear benefits when using the system.
“The My Health Record is an extremely useful way for them to better manage their own health, and there are clear benefits to health care providers in terms of being aware of the full picture of a patient’s health,” he said.
The program will also be trialled in Lithgow, the Hawkesbury area and in Cairns in Queensland with around one million people to have a record by June.
To find out more about the initiative you can visit www.myhealthrecord.gov.au.