My Health Record empowers carers and their loved ones

To celebrate the launch of National Carers Week 2017, the Australian Digital Heath Agency (the Agency) is partnering with Carers Australia to raise awareness of the practical tools that My Health Record offers to support carers and the broader community.

The Agency has launched a video to inform carers of these tools, featuring case studies that demonstrate the benefit of My Health Record in the lives of real-life carers.

Almost 2.7 million Australians care for someone with a disability, a medical condition, mental illness or someone who is frail due to age. This contribution equates to 1.9 billion hours of unpaid care per year 1.

“Carers are an integral part of Australia's health system and are the foundation of our aged, disability, palliative, and community care systems,” said Tim Kelsey, Chief Executive Officer of the Agency.

Mr Kelsey said that My Health Record provides many valuable benefits for carers and their loved ones.

“My Health Record supports and assists carers, and those they care for, to ensure better-connected care. It gives carers control over health and healthcare services being provided, and the ability to see prescribed medicines, as well as pathology and diagnostic reports,” Mr Kelsey said.

My Health Record also gives carers the capacity to upload important health information including allergies and advanced care directives, and it allows movement of a person’s medical information from one healthcare provider to another.

Carers Australia Chief Executive Officer Ara Cresswell believes a fully integrated digital health approach should include easy portability of client history from one provider to another, where the client is truly the owner of his or her own health data.

“Through My Health Record, important details carers need to remember are digitally recorded and easily retrieved,” Ms Cresswell said.

Donna Sedgman is primary carer to her 20-year-old daughter Marnie Clapham. At the age of 16, Marnie – a healthy and typical teen – suffered a brain haemorrhage. She was lucky to survive and her prospects for eating, walking, and even speaking were slim when she first presented at the hospital.

Marnie achieved all milestones during her 15-month stay, and even returned to riding horses; however, she will need personal, assisted care for the rest of her life.

“Marnie is a young person with complex care needs and is supported by multiple healthcare providers. My Health Record helps all of us work together to improve her future,” said Donna Sedgman.

For National Carers Week, the Australian Digital Health Agency is releasing a carers’ video for public download.

It features the stories of Donna Sedgman, carer to daughter Marnie Clapham, and Carers Australia National Policy Manager Sue Elderton.

Media contact and requests for interviews
David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
Mobile: 0428 772 421 Email: [email protected]

About the Digital Health Agency

The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia. The Agency was established on 1 July 2016 by the Australian Government as a statutory authority in the form of a corporate Commonwealth entity, and reports to all Australian governments through the COAG Health Council.

About Carers Australia

Carers Australia is the national peak body representing the diversity of Australians who provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends with a:

  • disability
  • chronic condition
  • mental illness or disorder
  • drug or alcohol problem
  • terminal illness
  • or who are frail aged

Carers Australia believes all carers, regardless of their cultural and linguistic differences, age, disability, religion, socioeconomic status, gender identification and geographical location should have the same rights, choices and opportunities as other Australians.

For more information on National Carers Week 2017, please go to www.carersweek.com.au.

Download: Media Release - National Carers Week 2017 (PDF, 433kB)