The UWA Student Guild urges all students to be well-informed about the national My Health Record rollout before deciding whether or not to opt out, saying that while there are benefits such as easier access to medical records by health professionals, it may put students’ sensitive and personal information in jeopardy.
Guild President Megan Lee said, “These changes are concerning because they expose young people who are LGBTIQA+, First Nations, have mental illnesses or substance abuse issues or survivors of abuse to further discrimination and stigmatisation.”
The changes to My Health Record may reduce individuals’ ability to control who can access their medical records. For students under 18, their parents may be able to access and alter their medical records without their knowledge. People can also be deemed not capable of managing their own health records, without having to undergo a formal capacity test.
“This may create further health inequality as more vulnerable communities are discouraged from seeking help or disclosing information,” said Pheobe Ho, Guild Welfare Officer. “However, individuals with complex health issues may benefit from My Health Record by having all their medical records stored in a ‘one-stop-shop’ and may avoid the need to repeat one’s medical history upon visiting each new healthcare provider.”
“As such, we urge all students to carefully weigh up the pros and cons, and think about how it may affect them before deciding whether or not to opt out. If in doubt, opt out, as you will still be able to opt in at a later date if you wish to,” said Miss Ho.
The opt-out period will run until November 15.
Megan Lee – 105th UWA Student Guild President
Phone: (08) 6488 2294