One in four Australians to opt out of My Health record, survey finds
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One in four Australians to opt out of My Health record, survey finds

More than a quarter of Australians will opt out of the federal government's controversial electronic health record system, a new survey has found.

A consumer study of more than 2000 Australians, conducted by finder.com.au, revealed 26 per cent of people surveyed plan to opt out of My Health Record before the November 15 deadline.

The survey also found even more people, 28 per cent, had not heard about My Health Record or what it means for them.

Almost one in four Australians have said they would opt out of My Health Record

Almost one in four Australians have said they would opt out of My Health RecordCredit:Alamy

The findings come as the scheme was referred to a parliamentary inquiry earlier this week.

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Federal Labor called for wider changes to the scheme in parliament on Tuesday, citing privacy and security concerns.

Every Australian with a Medicare card will automatically be enrolled in the scheme if they don't opt-out by the deadline, which was extended by one month after growing concerns from the medical community.

Almost one in four Canberrans said they would opt out of the scheme, with a further 24 per cent saying they didn't know what My Health Record was.

However, 52 per cent of ACT residents told the survey they weren't planning on opting out, one of the highest proportions of any Australian jurisdiction.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has assured the public about security of My Health Record.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has assured the public about security of My Health Record.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Tasmanians were more likely to have an online medical record created for them coming in at 67 per cent, while the state most likely to opt out was Western Australian, with 30 per cent of residents there planning to do so.

Finder health insurance spokeswoman Bessie Hassan said many people are unaware of how My Health Record works and how it will affect them.

"Millions of Australians are still in the dark about what the My Health Record means for them, which could show that they may not have enough information to be able to opt out in the required time," Ms Hassan said.

"The next important step is ensuring there is more awareness in the general public about what it actually means."

Earlier this month, health minister Greg Hunt announced changes to My Health Record, assuring medical record would not be able to be accessed by a third party without a court order.

Current legislation allows for authorities such as police, courts and the ATO to access records without a warrant.

Residents who want their health records deleted permanently would also have the option to do so.

Among the other findings in the finder survey, younger generations were more likely to not know what the scheme involved.

Almost 30 per cent of Generation Y said they were not aware of My Health Record, compared to 20 per cent of Baby Boomers.

A spokeswoman for the Australian Digital Health Agency said the department allocated $114 million on consumer communication about the scheme.

"It is the role of the ADHA to inform every Australian that a My Health Record will be created for them unless they chose not to have one by the end of 2018," the spokeswoman said.

"It is up to individuals to make their own decisions during the My Health Record expansion period if they elect not to have one."

Andrew Brown is a journalist at the Sunday Canberra Times. Andrew has worked at the Canberra Times since 2016.