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The My Health Record (MHR) system is an electronic health record system that commenced operation in July 2012. Although the system was originally designed on an opt-in basis, in May 2017 the government announced that the MHR system would transition to an opt-out system. Members of the Australian public were originally given a three-month period to elect to opt-out. The deadline to opt-out was later extended to a four-month period concluding on 15 November 2018.

In July and August 2018, concerns were raised in the media by medical commentators, general practitioners, IT professionals and journalists about the utility and security of the MHR system and whether members of the public should exercise their right to 'opt-out' of the new system.

In this inquiry, the Community Affairs References Committee has considered the views of a wide range of stakeholders to assess whether the MHR system is working and how it can be improved to make MHR a more effective tool to support patients and improve healthcare delivery.

This report is organised into five chapters.

  • Chapter 2 considers concerns about the privacy and security of the MHR.
  • Chapter 3 considers concerns that have been raised by submitters about using the MHR system.
  • Chapter 4 will consider the reasons the opt-out model was adopted, why some groups are advocating for a return to opt-in and concerns people have raised about their experiences trying to opt-out.
  • Chapter 5 will contain the committee's conclusions and recommendations.
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