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My Health Record System Reels As Thousands Opt Out

Oops. Lucky it’s not an emergency – but the Australian Digital Health Agency, which runs the Turnbull Government’s much-vaunted My Health Record system, has admitted that it hasn’t been able to keep up with phoned requests to opt out of the system in recent days.

People phoning in have faced “horrendous” wait times, according to widespread reports. Even after waiting more than two hours, many discovered that the call-centre systems were down and staff unable to help, according to a ZDNet report.

Various news sources had informed users that if they wanted to opt out of the new “@MyHealthRec” system – which would keep many in the health industry up to date with their illnesses and other little problems – they should ring in and record their decision.

To no-one’s great surprise, except perhaps a bunch of public servants, the lines were very quickly blocked as hundreds of thousands of Aussies sought to keep their medical history to themselves.

Quoth one typical phone-up person: “On hold with MyHealthRec for over 1.5 hours to opt out without providing my driver’s licence/passport number. Turns out their entire backed system has crashed and they are telling support staff to just punch people’s details into the Web site.”

There is actually no need for anyone to rush. The opt-out window will remain open until October. this year.

Anyone who hasn’t opted out by that date will automatically have an electronic medical record created for them, listing their medical history, test results and current prescriptions.

Users will have the option to upload two years of Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme data, as well as Australian Immunisation Register and Organ Donor Register records, along with any other medical data they want in the record.

Doctors will be able to access My Health Records with a patient’s permission, and Australian citizens can access their own health records at any time through the My Health Web site.

Just under six million Australians already have My Health Records, though they can opt out up until October by providing their Medicare number and appropriate ID.

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