Seniors take charge of their own health

Older Australians are being urged to consider their ongoing health and the benefits of having a My Health Record during NSW Seniors Festival (4 – 15 April).

My Health Record is an individual’s safe and secure digital health information, easily accessible by healthcare providers involved in your care including GPs, pharmacists and hospitals. All Australians will have a My Health Record by the end of 2018 unless they choose not to.

Australian Digital Health Agency Chief Executive Officer, Tim Kelsey said the expansion of My Health Record nationally this year will deliver a system that provides universal functionality, clear and concise content and, critically, a safe and secure clinical health service for all Australians.

“My Health Record can reduce the risk of medical misadventures by providing treating clinicians with up-to-date information,” Mr Kelsey said.

“The benefits of digital health for patients are significant and compelling. Digital health can improve and help save lives.

“Many older Australians who have seen the numerous advantages, are getting on board early, with many aged care residents across the Riverina having a My Health Record,” he said.

Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network (MPHN) Chief Executive Officer, Melissa Neal said that across the MPHN region 13 aged care facilities are also connected to and using the My Health Record system to access residents’ health information. 

“A My Health Record can help older Australians manage their prescriptions and list their allergies while having their medical conditions and test results viewable by relevant health care professionals. Individuals themselves can also add to the online record which can assist in emergency situations,” Ms Neal said.

“Being connected to and having healthcare professionals using the My Health Record system is streamlining care and providing better health outcomes.

“But perhaps the most appealing feature of the My Health Record system, is it travels with you. So many older Australians don the title of a Grey Nomad and travel around our country. Having a My Health Record means no matter where in Australia, or even the world, you can access your important health information with just a few clicks on a computer or swipes on your mobile device,” she said.

Riverina born and bred local, Stan Warren said he has experienced much change in the health system and healthcare over the years and is encouraging his fellow older Australians to check they have a My Health Record.

“Like many older Australians I don’t have easy access to my online health information, but if the people who need to have access to My Health Record have access when it matters most, then I’m happy,” Mr Warren said.

The My Health Record is a national system and is an electronic summary of an individual’s health information. It can be securely shared online between the individual and their healthcare providers. In 2018 the My Health Record program will move to an opt-out model, which means every Australians will have a record created for them by the end of the year, unless they choose not to have one.

Individuals can get more information or register now for a My Health Record by going to or phoning freecall 1800 723 471.

Cristy Houghton