This Practice has developed a Policy to protect patient privacy in compliance with Australia’s Privacy Legislation:
Collection and use of your information
To provide a quality on going health care service, this practice collects information about its patients. Sensitive information such as your current and previous medical conditions and family health history are necessary to provide an accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment and ongoing health care. Other personal information is required so we can contact you about your health and for billing and refund purposes.
Disclosure of your information
To provide continuity of care, the information we collect about you may be shared with other health care providers (Doctors, Hospitals, Pathologists, Specialists etc). Upon request, relevant information will be made available to another health service provider, but no additional unnecessary data is given.
In general, your health information will not be used for any other purposes without your consent. However, there are some circumstances when information has to be disclosed without your consent, such as emergency situations, reporting communicable diseases. Where applicable, your information may also be provided to Medicare and private health funds.
Doctors may be legally bound to disclose your information in certain situations such as for medical defence purposes and reporting communicable diseases. Records must also be disclosed under court orders, subpoena, search warrants and Coroner’s Court cases.
Children and other dependant relatives also have the right to privacy of their health information. Access by other individuals (e.g. parents, guardians, carers etc) will be determined by medical and legal privacy requirements and each request for access will be addressed individually.
If research is conducted, then each patients provides informed consent for his/her personal health information to be released.
Data Quality and Security of your information
It is the policy of this practice to maintain accurate, up to date and completed records. You can help us in this task by informing us of any changes to names and contact details.
Your information may be stored on paper and/or in electronic formats.
It is the policy of the practice to protect your information from loss and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.
Your information will be kept for a least as long after your last attendance as is legally necessary or required for administrative purposes. If your information is no longer needed after this time, it will be destroyed in a secure manner.
Access and Correction of your information
Under Australia’s privacy legislation, you have the right to access your information.
We would prefer to have your request for access to medical records in writing with your signature.
You can ask to view your information or have a copy of all, or part, of your records.
You are able to have incomplete or inaccurate information amended.
There are some circumstances, such as for legal reasons, where access to your information will be denied, but if this is the case, you will be advised of the reason.
There is no charge for lodging a request for access, however, a charge may be made if this practice incurs costs in providing you access to your records.
Under privacy legislation, you can choose to remain anonymous if it is lawful and practicable to do so. In a medical context, it could be dangerous for you to remain anonymous and it is not possible to claim Medicare and health insurance rebates without giving some identifying information.
If you have any questions or complaints about the way this practice deals with your information, please discuss these with your Doctor.
If you are still concerned after speaking to your Doctor, please contact:
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 5218
SYDNEY NSW 2001
Privacy Hotline: 1300 363 992