Life Tech My Health Record phone lines crash as Australians rush to opt out

My Health Record phone lines crash as Australians rush to opt out

My Health Record Greg Hunt
Health Minister Greg Hunt has faced strong opposition against My Health Record. Photo: AAP
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A helpline to opt out of the controversial My Health Record system crashed this morning after a “technical issue”.

Several callers on Tuesday, who were attempting to opt out before the November 15 deadline, were told by operators that the call centre’s computer systems had crashed and to call back after 2pm or on Wednesday.

“We’re trying our best to get this issue resolved as quickly as possible,” one operator said. “We’re extremely sorry for the inconvenience.”

A spokesperson from the Australian Digital Health Agency said the agency experienced minor technical issues on Tuesday morning, but the issue was now resolved.

“This was not due to an influx of calls, it was a minor technical issue,” the spokesperson told The New Daily.

“The system did not crash. People were still able to successfully opt out via the online opt out portal. 

“The Help Line is well resourced to manage all calls and current wait times are approximately one minute. People can find up-to-date wait times on the My Health Record website.”

Several people took to social media to express their anger over the system crash.

“What’s happening with #MyHealthRecord? A repeat of #CensusFail by looks of things.

“Despite entirely predictable surge in opt outs following recent media coverage, #MHR system is down right now. A week to go and people can’t get themselves taken off. #MHRFail,” one Twitter user said. 

The system crash comes as Health Minister Greg Hunt weighs in on Labor’s demands for six extra amendments, which are yet to pass in Parliament, that address privacy and security concerns in the existing legislation. 

Politicians will also be unable to debate the bill before the opt-out deadline passes on November 15.

The My Health Record opt-out system has been plagued with issues since July, when users reported experiencing technical difficulties when they tried to opt out saying they were unable to complete the process.

Others using the phone hotline faced long waiting times, with some saying once the wait was over, call centre workers were unable to help because of systems crashing or slowing. 

Domestic violence victims have also spoken out against the system, fearing that their ex-partners will be able to access sensitive information, as a child’s record – which lists the family’s new address – can be accessed by both parents.

Domestic violence survivor, Jeanette, last name withheld, told The New Daily that My Health Record needed to ensure the privacy of those who had experienced domestic violence.

“A survivor just wants to be left alone and get on with living. Laws need to change into a more preventative strategy,” she said.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has been contacted for comment. 

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