CHOICE membership

MyHealth Record - Megathread


This will be my last post on the matter and section 17(2)(b) of the Act is very clear. For others who can’t access this Act, section 17 states:

17 Retention of records uploaded to National Repositories Service

         (1)  This section applies to a record if:

                 (a)  the record is uploaded to the National Repositories Service; and

                 (b)  the record includes health information that is included in the My Health Record of a healthcare recipient.

         (2)  The System Operator must ensure that the record is retained for the period:

                 (a)  beginning when the record is first uploaded to the National Repositories Service; and

                 (b)  ending:

                          (i)  30 years after the death of the healthcare recipient; or

                         (ii)  if the System Operator does not know the date of death of the healthcare recipient—130 years after the date of birth of the healthcare recipient.

I think you may be confused. There is a Shared Health Summaries in Myhealth, but this is only part of the whole of the MyHealth Record System.

I challenge you to find information in the Act or on the MyHealth website that indicates otherwise.

Just logging onto the MyHealth website, the front webpages presents data as a summary, but the details underlying reports, scan results, medications/prescriptions etc exist on the same website. If the full details were presented on the front pages, it would be near impossible to read or decipher.


After all these years, how I hate reading legislation! As is often the case, what isn’t legislated is a significant as what is. It helps to keep in mind that the purpose is cost-minimisation. Spin notwithstanding, health is not a focus.

As I read it, an individual’s MyHealthRecord consist of summaries uploaded by healthcare providers. A summary is defined as:

10 Definition of shared health summary
The shared health summary of a registered healthcare recipient, at a particular time, is a record that:
(a) was prepared by the healthcare recipient’s nominated healthcare provider and described by him or her as the healthcare recipient’s shared health summary; and
(b) has been uploaded to the National Repositories Service; and
(c ) at that time, is the most recent such record to have been uploaded to the National Repositories Service.
Note: This means that there is only one shared health summary for a healthcare recipient at a particular time.

The record will never hold all of an individual’s health information. It isn’t even clear whether old information will be archived.

Evidently not:

12 Concurrent operation of State laws
It is the intention of the Parliament that this Act is not to apply to the exclusion of a law of a State or Territory to the extent that that law is capable of operating concurrently with this Act.

Speaking of spin:

The object of this Act is to enable the establishment and operation of a voluntary national system for the provision of access to health information relating to recipients of healthcare, …

Opt-in is voluntary, I guess. :thinking: Note: information relating to, not necessarily a comprehensive record.


I don’t claim to be an expert but my interpretation is as follows.

“retain” is not defined in the legislation and therefore has the normal meaning of the word. It should therefore imply that the record exists and is accessible via some mechanism.

The opposite of “retain” should therefore imply “non-existent” or “deleted”.

So 17(2)(b) gives the System Operator the right, but not the obligation, to delete the record 30 years after you die.

I read it as allowing the record to be archived, or not, at any time - as long as it could be accessed if needed e.g. by restoring from the archive, or accessing it within the archive.

In other words, I think “david4” is correct.


The initial comment related to the deletion of data to save money.

As outlined above, the deletion of data can not occur to save money. The data must be retain for at least 30 years or 130 years after the birth of death of the recipient is no known.

The legislation does not allow the deletion of data before that time or to delete records to save money. The wording must ensure that the record is retained is used in the Act. The Act does not allow discretionary powers (must is a definitive legal term) in relation the retention of records.

I did inadvertently use the term archive in my post as this the envious task I have been doing today…for which I apologise for creating confusion I have amended the post where archive was inadvertently used.

No this interpretation is incorrect. The shared health summary must be read on context with the remainder of the Act.

Shared health records is only one component of ones records which will be uploaded to MyHealth Records. part 2 Division 1 clarifies this by stating…

to operate a National Repositories Service that stores key records that form part of a registered healthcare recipient’s My Health Record (including the healthcare recipient’s shared health summary);’

The Myhealth Record website explains what a ‘shared health summary’ is.


For heaven’s sake! Saving money is the reason the Act exists!

Deleting data specifically for that purpose is not the issue. That’s what the entire system is created to do.


Reading (reluctantly) back through the Act:
s.17 sets out retention periods for a “record”;
s.10 Allows the content of a “record” to vary. Among variations, new information can replace old. There’s no indication that the old will be retained in any form nor whether the change will be logged or otherwise recorded.

Much of the problem here seems to stem from a view of some that the system is focused on health outcomes. History shows that not to be so. It was created in the hope that spending $500 million would save $10 billion.

Because the focus is on savings, corners were cut. The sad part is that, if we’d gone into this with a focus on health, we’d probably save far more than the Deloitte report suggested. That said, doing the job well won’t be cheap. Then again, last I heard, we were well over-budget anyway.


Talking about hypotheticals as the current legislation does not allow deleting other than the triggers outlined in the Act.

A future government could amend the Act, but deleting records to save money would be at a gigh cost to the record system value and cost to implement as each record would need to be assessed for suitabily for deletion.


The reason for the existence of the Act is a hypothetical? :rofl:

Looking back, it seems this is the source of confusion:

My choice of terminology was not the best. New information just replaces the old within a record. There’s no indication that the old information will be recorded nor the change logged.


Sadly it’s not surprising … nor unexpected … I think I was probably being optimistic a couple of months ago in this topic:

Legislation gets through sooner or later, in one form or another - any delay not for rational or logical reasons, just pandering to noisy minorities … the majority seem more often than not to be quietly compliant or ambivalent :slight_smile:


That could hold true.
On the MyHealth initative the extended family by majority is not that interested either way, while several dissidents will opt out.

Even with the NBN which has had a longer and greater public interest, the same group is either not interested or is accepting that there is nothing you can do to change it.

For the rest of us with Crystal Balls and an interest in how things are proceeding with either project we at least have a voice here to share wisdom, knowledge and the scant scraps fed to us by the system.

p.s. Choice through it’s campaigns has demonstrated it can influence some legislation and deliver improved consumer outcomes. Inflencing on a larger scale whole government policies or political parties internal belief systems might take a little longer. Are there any Tardis owners out there that can assist?


“interesting” … :slight_smile:


Ah yes and because the Opt-in for health records worked so well the Govt. in their infinite wisdom are doing it again. Their latest “opt-in” abuse of our privacy… Govpass… how long until they make that opt-out?


Noting that implementation of MyHealth is not dependent on DTA .

Good luck with DTA. ‘Mission Impossible’ has already demonstrated how easy it is for a 1.5m blond haired person to peel away a silicon rubber mask to reveal a 2.0m gorilla is the true identity. You would never have guessed would you?

Is this another technology that you can avoid by taking up NBN SkyMuster?


:laughing: It’s not April the first is it?

How do they plan on distributing the scanners to the elderly who eschew IT, or to those without smart phones etc.?

Doesn’t the Digital Transformation Agency have anyone who can think realistically and critically assess these ideas before they are released?

Waiting for the digital version of the Australia Card. :joy:


What? You mean everyone doesn’t have a smart phone? The NBN roll out obviously hasn’t worked then :wink:
The best bit is they thought it took a long time to pull your ID out of your wallet… looking forward to a queue of elderly in front of me trying to get their “smart” phones to recognise them :rofl:


MyHealth is still coming like it or not?

Not for 900,000 Aussies

That still leaves 24.1 million potential takers, 6 million of whom had signed up previously.


e.g. Or those whose smart phones can’t run the required software. Or don’t want to run random untrusted software provided by the government (or anyone else). Or who don’t have a webcam integrated with or connected to their computer. Or who don’t have any computer device at all.

Don’t worry though. By then all premises will be obliged to have government surveillance devices installed anyway.


From which: It also said 136,644 people had turned on an email or SMS alert for when a new healthcare practitioner accesses their record.

That is at least something - not as good as putting an access code on the record though.


I’m more than a little uneasy with the change from opt-in to opt-out. The next step is likely to be “why aren’t you in?”

Perhaps we’re headed somewhere like this:


More MyHealthRecord news. From the article,

“… the system could not be used for commercial purposes – but pharmaceutical companies were not precluded from applying.”