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Privacy fact sheet 21: Young people and the My Health Record system

Note: This fact sheet does not apply to people living in the Northern Queensland and Nepean Blue Mountains areas

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March 2016

The My Health Record system allows young people (under the age of 18) to have a My Health Record. This fact sheet explains how authorised representatives — such as parents and guardians — can register and manage a My Health Record on a young person’s behalf. It also explains how young people can take control of and manage their record.

This fact sheet is for people whose registered Medicare address is in areas of Australia outside Northern Queensland and Nepean Blue Mountains (see below for further information on why this is the case). If your registered Medicare address is in Northern Queensland or the Nepean Blue Mountains region, please see the OAIC’s Privacy fact sheet 47: Young people and the My Health Record system (Northern Queensland and the Nepean Blue Mountains region).

What is a My Health Record?

A My Health Record is an online summary of your health information, such as medicines you are taking, any allergies you may have and treatments you have received. It was previously known as a Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) or eHealth record.

Your My Health Record allows your doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers (such as physiotherapists) to view your health information, in accordance with your access controls. You are also able to access it online yourself.

In most parts of Australia you need to actively register for a My Health Record. However, people whose registered Medicare address is in Northern Queensland or the Nepean Blue Mountains will have a My Health Record automatically created for them by the Australian Government. If you are registered as living in either of these areas and don’t want a My Health Record, you will need to opt-out by 27 May 2016.

You can use the postcode checker on the My Health Record website to see if your registered Medicare address is in one of these areas. If it is, you should also receive a letter and brochure from the Australian Government with further information.

Information for parents and guardians

How do I register a child for a My Health Record?

If you have parental responsibility for a person under 18, you can register for a My Health Record on their behalf.

A person with parental responsibility is generally the child’s mother, father or guardian. The My Health Record System Operator may also consider you to have parental responsibility in some other circumstances.

To register a child you will be required to provide evidence of your parental responsibility and prove your identity.

Once the System Operator registers the child, you will be known as their ‘authorised representative’ and will be responsible for managing the child’s record. This includes determining which healthcare providers may access it and whether any other persons (including the child) may access it.

More than one authorised representative can manage a child’s My Health Record (for example, both parents of the child may be authorised representatives).

For more information on registering a child, including information on what constitutes having parental responsibility, please see the My Health Record registration booklet.

Including Medicare information in your child’s My Health Record

When you register a child you can consent to the inclusion of Medicare information in their My Health Record if you wish. This includes Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) data.

If you consent to the inclusion of this MBS and/or PBS data, when the child turns 14, this information will no longer be accessible in their My Health Record. This is because a child can take control of their My Health Record when they turn 14. The removal of Medicare documents from a young person’s My Health Record, when they turn 14, is in line with existing Medicare policy to keep this information private from parents or others without the express consent of the young person.

MBS and/or PBS data will only be made available again if the child takes control of their record and consents to the inclusion of this information.

For more information on the Medicare data that can be included in the My Health Record please see the OAIC’s Privacy fact sheet 22: Medicare information and your My Health Record.

Information for young people

Your parent(s) or guardian can register you for a My Health Record on your behalf up until you turn 18. When they register you, they will be your authorised representative, which means they will be responsible for managing your record. They will determine which healthcare providers can access it and whether you can access it.

The Privacy Act 1988 does not set an age at which you are considered to be capable of making decisions about how your personal information is handled. However, the law recognises that competence varies in young people. In some cases, including in relation to the My Health Record system, a young person may be considered capable of making decisions for themselves from the age of 14. Generally, a young person is deemed legally competent at the age of 18.

When you turn 14

When you turn 14 you are presumed to have capacity to make decisions about your My Health Record. From this age you can register for a record or take control of your existing record. If you choose to manage your own record, you can decide whether to allow your parent and/or legal guardian access as a nominated representative.

If you choose not to manage your existing record, your authorised representative will continue to manage it until you turn 18.

Before you turn 14

If you are under 14 and would like to take control of your existing My Health Record or register for a record, you will need to prove to the System Operator that you can make decisions about your healthcare and manage your record. This will be determined on a case by case basis. Evidence for this could include documentation from your healthcare provider supporting your request.

How to take control of your My Health Record

You can take control of your My Health Recordonline.

To this you can also:

If you are under 14 and wish to take control of your existing My Health Record, you will need to supply evidence to the System Operator that you are capable of managing your My Health Record. To register for a record while under the age of 14 you will need to write to the System Operator or visit a Medicare office.

Automatic cancellation of authorised and nominated representatives

When a young person turns 18 or takes control of their My Health Record, the System Operator will cancel the access of all their authorised and nominated representatives. If the person wishes to retain any representatives, they will need to set this up in their record.

If a young person lacks capacity to make their own decisions, an authorised representative can continue to manage the record after they turn 18. If an individual wants to apply to be an adult’s authorised representative, they will need to provide evidence to the System Operator that the adult lacks capacity to make their own decisions, and that they are authorised by law or are an appropriate person to act on their behalf.

More information

For more information on protecting your privacy on the My Health Record system, please see the OAIC’s Privacy fact sheet 15: Ten tips for protecting the personal information in your My Health Record.

For more information on the OAIC’s role in the My Health Record system, please see the OAIC’s Privacy fact sheet 18: The OAIC and the My Health Record system

For further information

telephone: 1300 363 992

email: enquiries@oaic.gov.au

write: GPO Box 5218, Sydney NSW 2001

Or visit our website at www.oaic.gov.au