Privacy Policies: For an up to date version of our privacy policies please see below.
Current as of: July 2023
Why and when your consent is necessary
When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our GPs and practice staff to access and use your personal information, so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this.
Our patient information sheet has a consent form attached asking permission and consent for electronic communication, and information collection. Giving consent for this does not have anything to do My Health record.
Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?
Our practice will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (e.g. staff training).
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes your:
- names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
- medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
- Medicare / DVA / Concession Card number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
- healthcare identifiers
- health fund details.
Dealing with us anonymously
You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.
As a way of helping you in these situations, we will not ask for your Medicare Card or any form of identity. Under these circumstances however we are unable to Bulk Bill any consultation or offer the Medicare rebate to you.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.
When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
Your signature is required before we obtain any further information from you – please see the patient consent form.
During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
We utilise the government initiative of MyHealth Record, however we will not upload any information without your consent.
We do not collect information when you visit our website, send us an email, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media. We do however document details of emails, and anything pertaining to your health in your patient file.
In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly. This may include information from:
- 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
- your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).
When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?
We sometimes share your personal information:
- with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy
- With the Public Health Network (PHN) we share unidentifiable patient data for the purpose of on-going quality improvement for the care of our patients
- with other healthcare providers
- when it is required or authorised by law (eg court subpoenas)
- when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
- to assist in locating a missing person
- to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
- for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
- when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)
- during the course of providing medical services, through eTP, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
Only people who need to access your information will be able to do so. Other than in the course of providing medical services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent.
We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent. Under these circumstances it may only be under your request, we will never initiate any transfer of documents outside of Australia.
Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice electronically. Any hard-copy letters received will be scanned into your file, and the original shredded. Any X-Ray’s that may be brought in to the practice will be returned to you. Any emails received by you containing information regarding your health will be put into your patient file and deleted.
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
We have passwords on every computer, and each staff member has an individual password for them to access any patient files or information. These visits by staff members to any patient file are documented by the program we use automatically.
All staff are required to sign confidentiality agreements before commencing work on the premises, including contractors and non-permanent staff.
How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?
You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.
Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing using the form available at reception, and our practice will respond within two weeks’ time. There is no charge for this.
Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. From time to time, we will ask you to verify that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to [email protected]
How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure. We strive to handle and settle any complaints within a two-week period.
We can be contacted in several ways, please see below:
Our suggestion box is also available in the waiting room.
We have forms available for the Health Care Complaints Commission, or you can phone them on 1800 043 159
You may also contact the OAIC. Generally, the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond before they will investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992.
Privacy and our website
Our website does not collect any information, or cookies. It provides anonymous analytics however no personal or traceable information is collected.
Policy review statement
This policy will be updated annually or as any information changes are made. Patients will be notified of any changes via our practice presentations in the practice, and information will be updated on our website.