Here at Manly Village Medical we respect and support our teenage patients’ right to privacy. We want to ensure teenagers are empowered to make choices about privacy around their healthcare. As GPs, we have a duty of care to ensure you have access to information which will inform you about choices relating to My Health Record.
My Health Record is an Australia-wide Electronic Health Record. The key idea around the record is that it enables your health information to be shared with all health professionals who are directly involved in your healthcare. https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family
The Australian Federal government will automatically create and activate an My Health Record for you from 18 November 2018. For teenagers and young adults, it is important to know, if you are on your mum or dad’s, guardian’s or sibling’s medicare card, information uploaded to your My Health Record will be visible to whoever signs onto the medicare account. In other words, other family members have the potential to read information uploaded to your record.
The privacy implications of being on a shared medicare card is that any medications that you are prescribed, pathology/blood tests performed, or procedures that you have undergone, may be viewed by anybody (including family) who logs onto your Medicare Card linked web account. This includes you being able to see the activity of parents, brothers, sisters or anybody else registered to the same medicare card.
So as a teenager, what are you options?
- Do nothing and automatically get a My Health Record with no control of information.
- Speak to your GP about controlling what information gets uploaded to your record.
- Have the owner of the medicare card you are on, opt you out of having an My Health Record.
- Have your own Medicare Card. This will help maintain privacy and empower teenagers to make their own choices about sharing the health information and even opting out .
Medicare cards are available to Australian Citizens who are 15 years or older: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/how-get-your-own-medicare-card-15-years-old/39461