What are the issues?
The Federal privacy legislation has recently been amended to apply to the private sector. All providers of private health services must comply with this legislation. The following information outlines the policy of this practice with regards to this legislation.
Our policy in compliance with Federal Privacy Legislation.
The provision of quality health care is our principal concern. It requires a doctor-patient relationship of trust and confidentiality. We regard your health information as confidential. We will obtain your consent when collecting this information and handle it in accordance with the privacy legislation. You are entitled to know what personal information is held about you, what it is used for, to whom it is disclosed and how it is stored.
Collection, Use and Storage.
As part of the consultation with your doctor, we request that you complete a form outlining your personal details. We will use this information for the following reasons:
- For administrative purposes. This includes maintenance of records and billing, and the possibility of information being forwarded to a collection agency in the event of an outstanding account.
- To provide you with quality health care, to be able to properly assess and diagnose your condition.
- For communication with others involved in your care, this includes your referring doctor who will receive a letter outlining the outcome of your consultation. It may also include other doctors, specialists and therapists involved in your care.
- For research and education. Our doctors may be involved in teaching, research and quality assurance. They may take photographs of your x-rays or operation and use them for teaching. You name would NOT be disclosed. He collects information about the number, type and outcome of all operations done and may use this for research or clinical audit. Again you would remain anonymous.
You have a right to access your information. You may ask for a copy of part or all of the record. You will be required to complete a form requesting this information. A charge may be payable for this access. In some circumstances, access may be denied but in such an event we will advise you of the reason.
If you request, your health information will be made available to another health service provider. The right of children to privacy may at times restrict access to their information by parents or guardians.
Your health information may need to be disclosed without your consent in situations such as:
- Emergency situations.
- By law for public interest reasons (eg: reporting of some communicable diseases).
- For a medical indemnity insurance obligation.
- For billing and medical rebate purposes to Medicare or private health funds.
You are not required to provide this information or give permission for it to be used as described above. However your failure to do so may compromise the treatment we are able to give you. You may discuss your 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 contact the Federal Privacy Commissioner whose contact details are:
Level 8, Piccadilly Tower
133 Castlereagh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 1042