The provision of quality health care requires a doctor-patient relationship of trust and confidentiality. Consistent with our commitment to quality care, we have developed this policy to protect patient confidentiality in compliance with privacy legislation.
In the interests of the highest quality and continuity of a patient’s health care, it is necessary for us to collect personal information from patients. To provide you with the best possible health care, make an accurate medical diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment, we may also need to exchange information with other health care providers who comprise a patient’s medical team.
We may also need to use your personal information for administrative purposes, including the need to contact you using the phone numbers provided by you, and for billing purposes, including compliance with Medicare Australia and the Health Insurance Commission. Some of your information may be used for quality assurance and research purposes.
As health information is “sensitive information” for the purposes of privacy legislation, we will make all attempts to gain our patient’s consent, either written or verbal, to collect health information that is relevant to their condition.
Information disclosed without a patient’s consent is:
- In a medical emergency situation
- If required, as evidence in legal proceedings when a Subpoena or Writ of Non-Party Disclosure is served
- To fulfil a medical indemnity insurance obligation
- Information for public interest reasons (e.g. mandatory reporting of some communicable diseases)
Similarly, patients have the right to request access to their personal health information held by this practice. Whilst not required to give reasons for their request, a patient may be asked to clarify the scope of the request. This request must be received in writing and an appointment will then be made with the doctor so that the information contained within your medical record can be fully explained and discussed. A charge may be payable, but this will depend largely on the nature of the information you require. There are some circumstances in which access may be restricted and, in these cases, reasons for denying access will be explained.
This practice acknowledges the right of children to privacy of their health information. Based on the professional judgement of the doctor and consistent with the law, it may, at times, be necessary to restrict access to personal health information by parents or guardians.
It is important to us that your expectations about the way in which we handle your information are consistent with ours. Please do not hesitate to discuss any concerns, questions or complaints about any issues related to the privacy of your personal information with our Practice Manager.