The provision of quality health care is our principal concern. It requires a doctor-patient relationship of trust and confidentiality. Your doctor regards patient health information as confidential and will only collect this information with patient consent.
Patients are entitled to know what personal information is held about them; how and under what circumstances they may have access to it; why it is held; its use; to whom and under what circumstances it may be disclosed; when consent is required for these purposes; and how it is stored.
Every effort will be made to discuss these matters with patients at the time personal health information is collected from patients attending this practice. Because there will be occasions when it is not practicable to make patients aware of these matters at the time of collection, this statement is designed to outline how this practice endeavours to protect the privacy of patients’ personal health information.
Collection, use and disclosure of your information
Information about a patient’s medical and family health history is needed to provide accurate medical diagnoses and appropriate treatment. We will be fair in the way we collect information about our patients. This information is generally collected from the patient, and otherwise with the patient’s consent. However, from time to time we may receive patient information from others. When this occurs we will, wherever possible, make sure the patient knows we have received this information.
Medical care requires full knowledge of patient health information by all members of a medical team. To ensure quality and continuity of patient care a patient’s health information has to be shared with other health care providers from time to time. Some information about patients is also provided to Medicare, and private health funds if relevant, for billing and medical rebate purposes.
The doctors in this practice are members of various medical and professional bodies including medical defence organizations. There may be occasions when disclosure of patient information is required for medical defence purposes.
There are also circumstances where a medical practitioner is legally bound to disclose personal information. An example of this is the mandatory reporting of communicable diseases.
It is necessary for us to keep patient’s information after their last attendance at this practice for as long as is required by law or is prudent having regard to administrative requirements.
A Shared Health Summary outlining a patient’s past medical history, allergies, medications and vaccinations will only be uploaded to a patient’s My Health Record after a patient’s informed consent is obtained and the patient is fully aware of what information is included in the summary. Patients can ask that some information not be uploaded to their record.
A patient has a right to access their information. They may ask how to view the information or ask for a copy of part or the whole record. While not required to give reasons for their request, a patient may be asked to clarify the scope of the request.
There are some circumstances in which access may be denied but in such an event, the patients will be advised of the reason.
A charge may be payable where the practice incurs costs in providing access. This will depend on the nature of the access.
The material over which the doctor has copyright might be subject to conditions that prevent further copying or publication without the doctor’s permission.
If a patient finds that the information held on them is not accurate or complete, the patient may have that information amended accordingly.
Upon request a patient’s health information held by this practice will be made available to another health service provider.
Parents/guardians and children
The rights of children to privacy of their health information, based on the professional judgement of the doctor and consistent with the law, might at times restrict access to this information by parents or guardians.
It is important to us that your expectations about the way in which we handle your information are the same as ours.
Please do not hesitate to discuss any concerns, questions or complaints about any issues related to the privacy of your personal information with your doctor.
If you are still dissatisfied you can complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner whose contact details are: