Our co-operative is bound by the Australian Privacy Principals in the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth) and any relevant Health Privacy Principles under State legislation. It is the policy of the co-operative that that the privacy of patients personal information is respected and maintained at all time.
Personal information that is collected and what it is used for?
The ‘personal information’ collected includes your name, date of birth, address, contact details, Medicare, Veterans affair number or health fund details. We may request additional medical information such as your medical history past and present in order to assist us to provide you with appropriate best quality care. The Co-operative follows the guidelines from the RACGP’s Handbook for the management of health information in general practice that incorporates federal and state privacy legislation, and the Australian Privacy Principles requiring your personal information is kept private and secure. This information is also used to process our business activities such as financial claims and payments and ensures policies are maintained during practice audits and accreditation as well assisting staff training.
Consent is it necessary? Why and when?
Patients who register for their initial booking with our service provide consent for staff and doctors to access and use their personal information to provide patients with the best possible healthcare outcomes. Staff have access to the information that is required to deliver these possible healthcare outcomes. Additional consent is required from the patient to use information for anything else.
Personal information how is it collected, maintained or disclosed?
When you make your first booking or attempt at booking with our service, during the course of providing medical services if required and it may occur if you visit our website or send us a email, telephone us or make an appointment online.
Information we may need to ask other parties?
Your guardian or responsible person, other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services or your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
The database we hold?
The service actively works to ensure the database held is accurate, complete, well-organised and legible, up-to-date and contains enough information for another GP to care for you.
Sensitive (restricted) information may be disclosed under what circumstances?
- any other party or person you request or consent to receiving the information
- minors, to the parent with parental responsibility
- to other authorised representative such as a legal guardian or Power of Attorney
- the treating doctor or regular general practitioner
- health professionals that are or will be involved in your case such as emergency departments and ambulance services
- anyone we are required or authorised by law to disclose the personal information
- Medicare, Veteran affairs or other health insurance companies where it is necessary for you to obtain bulk billing payments or other health insurance rebates
- our contractors assisting the service to facilitate the provision of healthcare services or other services to you;
- any overriding public health and safety interest in the release of the information.
Sensitive information will only be used for the purpose it was provided or for purpose directly related to, unless you agree otherwise, or if the sensitive information is required or authorised by law. Patients providing their personal information are consenting to provisions outlined previously and to the collection, use and disclosure as per the provisions defined. Organisations where personal information is disclosed must have reasonable protection for safeguarding personal information and are only permitted to use the information for services or functions for which they have been engaged.
Do we provide your information to GPs or use it for quality improvement research?
Personal information that identifies you will be sent to your GP or General Practice or other health professionals that are or will be involved in your care, such as Emergency Departments and Ambulance Services. Your personal information will only be sent to other people with your consent, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Your patient report is sent to your GP or General Practice ensuring continuity of care the following business day after your consultation.
Your de-identified information may be used to assist in improving quality of care to patients as well as assisting research projects to improve healthcare in the community. For medical research without your consent under guidelines issued by the Australian Government identified information will be discussed with you before obliged to disclose.
Can you access your protected personal information?
Requests to access medical records can be made, we will need to consider if there may be a risk of physical or mental harm to you or any other person that may result from disclosure of your health information and need to remove any information that will affect the privacy of other individuals. Australian privacy legislation applies to all personal health information recorded in electronic and paper records. All records must be kept secure to protect against unauthorised access.
The service reserves the right to change this policy at any time as required.
Do you have concerns regarding the privacy of your health information?
If you have any concerns regarding the privacy of your personal health information or the accuracy of the information held by our service, please contact our Chief Executive Officer.
Information can be corrected where inaccurate and any concerns can be noted in the patient’s file. For legal reasons we will retain the original notes.
Chief Executive Officer
Locked bag 1, PANANIA NSW 2213
Chief Executive Officer
Privacy legislation is available from:
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
1300 363 992
Information and Privacy Commission
New South Wales – 1800 472 679
ACT Health Services Commissioner
02 6205 2222
Health and Disability Services Complaints Office
Western Australia – 1800 813 583