From 1 July, consumers wanting to take part in the government's e-health records scheme will have the ability to register online, despite fears to the contrary.
After more than two years of development and over half a billion dollars worth of investment, the Federal Government will launch its personally controlled e-health record (PCEHR) system on 1 July. Last month, the government indicated the system would launch with a whimper rather than a bang, as patients will initially only be able to register for the records and add their own information through an online portal.
At the time, the government said it might struggle to meet the 1 July deadline for the online portal; however, the Department of Health and Ageing today said that, contrary to a report in The Australian, customers would be able to register online.
"From 1 July, consumers will be able to register online, through a Medicare shopfront or via phone, for a personally controlled electronic health record (PCEHR)," the department said in a statement.
"The online portal will be available from 1 July 2012, so as soon as a person has signed up, they will be able to go online and view their record, and add a range of their basic health information."
Once in the portal, customers will be able to add emergency contact details, allergies, medication information and their own personal patient notes.
The ability to allow health practitioners to add information will start in September, the Department of Health and Ageing deputy secretary Rosemary Huxtable said last month.
"The next tranche of functionality is around provider registration, and the capacity for providers to upload clinical information. That will follow within a few months of 1 July," she said.
The government is expecting 500,000 people to register for the service in the next financial year.