A problem that may end with the national implementation of the My Health Record has created a stir in a NSW regional newspaper, with a Port Macquarie resident slamming a medical practice for charging him to transfer his medical records to his new GP.
Noel Fletcher said he was stunned to receive a bill for $27.50, according to the Port Macquarie News, claiming the details of his health concerns, diagnoses and treatments belong to him.
“In my view, I pay for my visit to the doctor – whether it is bulk billed or not – therefore I am employing that doctor for that period of time to deal with my health matters. In my view, these records belong to me,” Fletcher told the Port Macquarie News.
“I am paying for this service. As far as I am concerned, these records belong to me and no one else. The doctor is simply the keeper of these records.”
Fletcher’s new GP apparently asked him to arrange the transfer of his medical history from the previous practice. He says he only received a summary for the price.
Fletcher, who doesn’t intend to pay the invoice, suffers from osteomyelitis and claims his current doctor should be able to access his full medical records.
The Australian Medical Association’s guidelines say records containing patient medical information do not belong to the patient, and a GP should provide a copy of the original record or a summary depending on the size and complexity.
The doctor’s lobby group says medical practitioners should be entitled to be reimbursed for providing access to the information contained in a medical record. “The reasonable cost for this service should be borne by the patient,” the guidelines say.