Berrigan NSW takes the lead in connecting to My Health Record

First town in Australia to connect all medical services to the My Health Record.

Berrigan is a tiny town in the Riverina region of New South Wales. Total population: 922. It’s a proud community that punches above its weight – in 1893, it hosted the first conference on Australian Federation; in 1896 it opened the first pioneer light railway in NSW and in 1900 launched the first bush fire brigade in the country. It has added a new feather to its cap: it is the first town in Australia to connect all medical services to the My Health Record.

On a sunny day earlier this month, we were honoured to attend the celebrations of that achievement. On the lawn outside the Medical Centre, more than 100 residents heard children from local primary schools sing Advance Australia Fair – and then from a series of guests, including the Hon Sussan Ley MP, Member for Farrer (who was representing the Commonwealth Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP), the Mayor, and acting CEO of Murrumbidgee PHN.


Celebrating Berrigan in NSW as the first town in Australia where all key healthcare providers are connected and using My Health Record

MPHN acting chief executive Melissa Neal said she was not surprised that a rural community was leading the way towards improved health services. “In my experience, small rural communities have an inspiring sense of community spirit and connectedness,” she said. “This achievement for Berrigan demonstrates the town’s community strength, the foresight of the local health professionals and the town’s willingness to uptake digital health technology.”


Hon Sussan Ley MP, Member for Farrer (representing the Commonwealth Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP)

More than 60 percent of the locals are connected as well, including Damien Taylor, a local teacher, and his family. Not long ago, Damien’s baby daughter was diagnosed with two holes in her heart. “That was the worst day of my life,” he said. She has now had successful surgery and is doing well. He said My Health Record was critical for his family – it is the one safe place he keeps all his daughter’s complex and lengthy clinical notes so that he can share it with her clinicians. “It’s invaluable, a key part of our lives.”


Berrigan takes the cake for its pioneering role in connecting to My Health Record


Students from Berrigan Primary School and St Columba’s Primary School attend the celebration


Berrigan community members listen on as the Hon Sussan Ley MP, Member for Farrer, speaks