My Health Record – Odette’s story

Odette Tewfik has long been championing the rights of multicultural communities as a social worker in Brisbane south. If there’s one thing she knows, it’s the importance of taking control of your health.

Odette signed up for a My Health Record in 2015, during an information session where she was helping migrants through the Centrelink process.

“This is how I found out about My Health Record, and I registered that same day.”

Only a year later, Odette was told by her GP that she had to have an endoscopy. My Health Record made things a lot simpler.

“The GP wanted to know my history and if I was allergic to anything. When he referred me to the hospital, they again wanted to check my condition before going through the procedure. It was very beneficial having everything on My Health Record.”

She says the best thing about having a My Health Record is how easy it is to access.

“It’s very good because if you move from one state to another, you still carry all your history with you. I was in a conference in Melbourne and I forgot my medication. This medication I have, I need to take it every night. I found myself visiting a GP, but unfortunately I didn’t know the name of the medication and if there were any alternatives. It was easy for the GP to access My Health Record and prescribe another medication that day.”

My Health Record also allows users to upload documents, such as an advanced care plan. When Odette uploaded her advanced care plan, My Health Record gave her the option to authorise her husband to access it.

“In case anything happened in the future, the hospital, my husband and my GP can access my advanced care plan. It’s confidential, I’m the one who is controlling everything. I can update it if I want to.”

“My Health Record ensures that you will have a good health care journey in the future.”

For Odette, My Health Record is a resource she can rely on in the years to come. As she says, it’s an “electronic one-stop-shop for my health care history”.

“In the future, as I’m getting older, I need to secure my health and make sure I’m on the right track. My Health Record is going to be so helpful in showing the progress of my health. Getting older, it’s a bit hard to remember everything. My Health Record is ensuring my journey, my health care journey.”

She urges everyone in the community to use their My Health Record, especially those who are older, culturally and linguistically diverse or have chronic conditions.

“My Health Record secures their health, as a backup. I recommend it to everyone. My kids, my husband (who already has a My Health Record), old people, young people, everybody.”

“At the end of the day, you’re the decision maker.”

If you don’t want a My Health Record, register your choice by visiting MyHealthRecord.gov.au or calling 1800 723 471 by 31 January 2019.

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