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Is your My Health Record information safe?

Your My Health Record is one of the most important online records containing your personal information. This record is comprised of your health information and medical history, and is an extremely private record. However, an Article (“Insurers snooping in health records”) published in The Australian, suggested that your My Health Record may not be so private after all. The Article claimed that insurance companies can access information contained in your Record, a claim which the Australian Government’s Digital Health Agency (“the Agency”) has responded to as simply false.

 According to the response of the Agency to the Article, published on the same day in 2019, it is “against the law for a life insurance company to access the My Heath Record system for insurance purposes.” This calls for an answer to an important question – Who can access your Health Record? Apart from yourself, the only other people authorised to access your record are: your GP or specialist, people you invite to help manage your record, or those who manage your record for you (if you are not able to manage your record yourself).

 Conveniently, you are able to check who has accessed your My Health Record if you have any concerns. To do this you simply need to log into your My Health Record, and browse through the “Access History” section of the Record. In this section, you are able to view which organisations or representatives have accessed your My Health Record. Furthermore, it is a criminal offence for anyone to access your record for a purpose other than providing you with healthcare, and serious penalties also apply in this circumstance.

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