Junee residents who do not wish to have their medical records digitised and stored online have until October to say so. Otherwise they will be automatically opted-in to the My Health Records system.
The portal will provide patients with an online medical summary of previous conditions, diagnoses, test results, and medications.
Community GP Darren Corbett believes the system will benefit the nation but will not make much difference to the town’s ongoing healthcare.
“If you end up in hospital unconscious, where nobody knows you, being able to access My Health will help in getting you the treatment you need,” Dr Corbett said.
“It doesn’t really affect the local care, and it won’t replace a good relationship with your local GP.”
The opt-out period began on July 16.
Many have already removed themselves from the system, citing data privacy concerns.
When Junee librarian Kim Richards heard about the system, she did not intend to opt-out.
“Everyone’s using online services now, that’s not overly concerning to me, but it’s about who gets to see it.”
Ms Richards logged onto the website in the hopes of altering her privacy settings, to tailor who could view her records. But she ended up opting out entirely.
“I tried to opt-out of some services using the ‘manage my records’ part but it was easier to just opt-out altogether,” she said.
“In time, when some of the issues have been worked out, I might opt back in.”
In June, two government representatives hosted a consultation at the library, hoping to answer the community’s questions about the new system.
Despite prolific advertising, nobody came.
“Majority of Junee would not be online, a lot of people don’t use computers, so they won’t really know what it’s all about,” said fellow librarian Margaret Kanaley.
“I think it has been made an opt-out situation deliberately because it will catch out those who aren’t paying attention or who aren’t really online,” said Ms Richards.