Port Macquarie Resident Tells All: “What You Need to Know About My Health Record”

Raewyne Watson, 64, knows that making decisions about healthcare should never be taken lightly. The decision to get a My Health Record or opt out is no different. Making sure you have all the accurate information about your My Health Record is important.

Raewyne is now living in Port Macquarie after moving from Sydney three years ago to retire. She registered for a My Health Record in 2012.

“I travel overseas quite a bit, so having my medical history on My Health Record helps with keeping track of vaccinations that I’ve had,” Raewyne said. “My doctor can look in My Health Record and lets me know when I need to get the booster vaccinations.”

With over 5.9 million Australians already using the online summary of health information over the last six years, there are already a lot of people discovering the benefits of having a My Health Record.

My Health Record is a safe and secure system which has strong protections, including:

  • Strong encryptions
  • Firewalls
  • Secure authentication logins
  • Audit logs to protect your health information

It is the policy of the Australian Digital Health Agency, the system operator, to not provide access to your My Health Record to the police without a court order. This will soon be included in the My Health Record legislation. There are severe penalties in place should there be any unauthorised access of a My Health Record – this includes steep fines for the individual and organisation, and up to two years imprisonment.

My Health Record puts you at the centre of your care. Not only are you able to securely see a snapshot of your health information, but you can:

  • Monitor and restrict access to your whole record or certain parts of it.
  • Put access codes on your entire record so that only trusted healthcare providers who you give the code to can access your record.
  • Place access codes on specific documents, so that only trusted healthcare providers who you give the code to can access those documents.
  • Set up SMS and email notifications so that you are alerted each time a new provider accesses your record, including in an emergency.

Raewyne recently spoke with the Hastings Macleay Community Reference Group (joint advisory group for North Coast Primary Health Network and the Mid North Coast Local Health Dsitrict). She believes that one of the biggest benefits of having a My Health Record is the peace of mind it provides her.

“When I travel to Sydney, if I have an accident the doctor will be able to access my up-to-date health information. I am a diabetic and it is great that my medicine history is in there. If they have to give me medication, I know they will know what is safe to give me that will not react to what I’m already taking.”

Raewyne also spoke about how she has added in her own personal health notes to her My Health Record and regularly has her doctor update her shared health summary.

When you first access your My Health Record, you will not see much information in there. This is because your previous medical history, such as older tests and scan reports, will not be automatically uploaded to your My Health Record. Two years’ worth of MBS and PBS data will be added to your record automatically, but you can choose to remove this data if you wish to. You can ask your doctor to add a shared health summary to summarise your medical history, or add your own personal health summary as Raewyne did.

Click here for answers to FAQs about My Health Record.

Call 1800 723 471 to speak to the My Health Record Helpline.

If you would like to share your My Health Record story, contact North Coast Primary Health Network on (02) 6618 5436, email [email protected] or visit:

Aged Care Disaster Management Planning

Strategic Priority Area: One team

North Coast is identified as the region most likely to be impacted by climate change in Australia and also forecasted greatest growth in those 65+.

Healthy North Coast takes a lead role in ensuring the older population and the sector that supports them are prepared for, can respond to and recover from disasters and other emergencies.

We have led eight regional disaster management capacity building workshops, bringing together SES, community organisations and the aged care sector.

We have also developed disaster preparedness tip sheets for both residential and community aged care providers.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Strategic Priority Area: One team

In May 2022, the NSW Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2022. Effective from Tuesday, 28 November 2023, eligible people have the choice to access voluntary assisted dying. 

Healthy North Coast has developed a webpage for both health professionals and consumers, with links to available information and resources.

Living with Dementia resources

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

Healthy North Coast has worked with people living with dementia, their families and local service providers to develop an information booklet that will help them connect with local and national supports along their journey.

The booklet includes commonly asked questions for people to ask their GP and/or specialist.

The resource is available in digital and printed copies, with more than 5,000 distributed across the region. An e-version is available to clinicians via the Dementia and Cognitive Impairment HealthPathway.

Deteriorating Resident Triage Tool Pilot

Strategic Priority Area: One team

The Deteriorating Resident Response Tool (DRRT) has been developed to guide RN’s in Residential Aged Care homes (RACHs) to better understand, anticipate and make clinical decisions responding to the deteriorating health of residents.

The objective of the DRRT is to give RACH staff clear information to triage and provide appropriate care for a range of residents’ health conditions, and, in turn, prevent unnecessary presentations to ED.

The tool has been designed together with a specialist geriatrician, consulting with stakeholders such as Residential Aged Care Managers, NSW Ambulance, GPs, and experts from Mid and North Coast LHDs.

The pilot commences in March with four participating RACHs. Evaluation measures will include effectiveness in building RN confidence and reported reduction in unnecessary hospitalisations. Findings will inform a future planned, region-wide implementation.

North Coast Care Finders Program

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

The Care Finders program is a free region-wide service to support vulnerable older people who have no-one else to help them, to learn about, apply for and set up support services.

Care finders can help people understand what aged care services are available, set up an assessment, and find and choose services. They also help people with access to other supports in the community, both accessing services for the first time and changing or finding new services and supports.

On the North Coast, Healthy North Coast has commissioned four organisations to provide this important service: EACH, Carexcell, Lifetime Connect and Footprints.

icon with person and hands

Psychological services in residential aged care homes

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Healthy North Coast commissions two service providers to deliver psychological therapies and supports for older people with, or at risk of developing, a mental illness and who are living in residential aged care homes (RACHs).

The aim of the program is to both provide direct support to residents and their families and carers, as well as upskill the RACH workforce to respond to the needs of residents presenting with mental health concerns.

Social prescribing (Healthy Me Healthy Community)

Strategic Priority Area: Securing a Healthier Future

Delivered by Feros Care, the Healthy Me, Healthy Community program aims to build individual and community connections to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing in Port Macquarie.

The program helps people to connect with community, activities, supports and services that address their broader social determinants of health, as an alternative or supplement to a clinical approach.

icon with person and hands

Digital Health in Residential Aged Care

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Timely access to primary health care professionals, whether through face-to-face consultation or telehealth, is recognised as an issue for many Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs), that in some cases can lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations. RACHs require adequate telehealth facilities to support access to virtual consultations for their residents.

Project goals

  • Assist participating RACHs to have appropriate telehealth facilities and equipment to enable their residents to virtually consult when needed with their primary health care professionals, specialists and other clinicians. 
  • Provide training to participating RACH staff to support them to have the capabilities to assist their residents in accessing virtual consultation services.
  • Encourage increased use of My Health Record by RACHs, to improve the availability and secure transfer of resident’s health care information between RACHs, primary care and acute care settings.
icon with person and hands

Greater Choice at Home Palliative Care Program

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Aims to provide people who have life limiting conditions the opportunity to exercise choice and receive high quality care at home, harnessing improved and better coordinated supports and services that meet their individual needs.

Program objectives:

  • Improve access to palliative care at home and support end-of-life care systems and services (in primary health care and community care)
  • To enable the right care at the right time and in the right place (to reduce unnecessary hospitalisation)
  • Generate and use data to support continuous improvement of services across sectors
  • Use available technologies to support flexible and responsive palliative care at home, including in the after-hours.

These objectives will contribute to achieving the following intended overarching outcomes of:

  • Improved capacity and responsiveness of services to meet local needs and priorities
  • Improved patient access to quality palliative care services in the home
  • Improved coordination of care for patients across health care providers and integration of palliative care services in their region.

Education & training funding elibility

Funding is open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.

Workforce Locum support and R&R funding criteria

  • Available to primary care services in disaster impacted communities within the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Available to support short-term workforce coverage, allowing clinicians to rest and recover.
  • Workforce-support funding in total is capped for each site, over a 12-month period:
    • $10k for GPs and/or
    • $5K for nursing and/or
    • $5k administration support and/or
    • $5K allied/pharmacy and other.
  • Funding is not to be used to fill gaps in staffing that have not been able to recruit to and not to replace existing staff.
  • Healthy North Coast will assess requirements and approve available funding directly with the service requesting support.
  • Priority will be given to sites that have immediate, short-term workforce support needs.
  • Requests will be reviewed and supported on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program funding administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) to be paid monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever comes first).
  • Practices will be required to complete a request for payment form monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever occurs first).

Wellbeing Flexible Funding Criteria & Eligibility

  • Open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Activity must be purposeful, with the aim of increasing the wellbeing of your team.
  • Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with funding allocated based on team size.*
  • Following approval by Healthy North Coast, funding will be administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) upon providing proof of expenses.
  • Funding cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol, or any other goods or services where the vendor cannot quote their Australian Business Number.
  • Planned activities must occur prior to 30th June 2024.
  • Funding will not be available for retrospective activities.
*Team Size
(Total staff and contractors)
Funding Available
Small (1-5)$500-$1500
Medium (6-20)$1500-$4000
Large (>20)$4000-$5000