The Senate has voted to extend the opt-out period for the ‘My Health Record’ system to 31 January 2019. This gives Australians an extra two-and-a-half months to opt-out of the system.
Why was the deadline extended?
The deadline was extended following public concern and confusion about the privacy and security of the system, as well as website outages that prevented many citizens from opting out by the initial deadline (15 October 2018). The amendment, presented by One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson, and supported by Labor, occurred due to significant debate surrounding the introduction of a Bill to strengthen the My Health Record scheme’s privacy provisions. This is the second time the opt-out window has been extended since the beginning of the opt-out window on 16 July 2018.
What if I did not opt-out by the initial deadline?
If you did not opt-out by the end of the window on 15 October 2018, a record will be created which can’t be deleted, only cancelled. This means that the record remains in the system but is made ‘unavailable’ so that health providers are unable to access it.
The government is pushing to amend the legislation to allow individuals to permanently delete their record from the system.
How do I opt-out?
If you wish to opt-out, you will need to do so by 31 January 2019. Information on how to opt-out is contained in our previous blog posted located here.