To mark NAIDOC Week 2021 (4–11 July), the Australian Digital Health Agency acknowledged the importance of bush medicine in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and health and announced that My Health Record can be used to record its use.

Director of Clinical Services and Senior Medical Officer at Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service in Yarrabah Queensland, Yued Noongar man from Dandaragan WA, Dr Jason King, said “We use traditional medicine because we’ve always used it. When we were young it was too far to town, the shops were too far away and so we had to do this. It’s part of our life still.” 

“I ask my patients what bush medicines they are using and include that information in the medical records in our clinic and this feeds into My Health Record” he explained. 

What a lot of people don’t know is that some of the medicines used every day in pharmacies have their origins from the plants and animals from the lands around us. Just because we’re taking it from the pharmacy shelf as a packaged medicine doesn’t dismiss the original source. 

Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Amanda Cattermole said, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can upload their uses of bush medicine to My Health Record by including it in their personal health summary.”

“This information can be used by health care providers to better understand and treat patients and help preserve key cultural heritage” she said. 

There is a great extension for our mob, to put this information into My Health Record. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have never had this opportunity before.

Dodonaea viscosa Hopbush