This practice is bound by Privacy Legislation. The Legislation requires medical practitioners to obtain consent from their patients to collect, use and disclose that patient’s personal information.

Collection

This means we will collect information about each patient that is necessary to properly advise and treat that patient. Such necessary information may include:

  •  Full medical history
  • Family medical history
  • Ethnicity
  • Contact details
  • Medicare and Centrelink details
  • Genetic information
  • Billing and account details

This information will normally be collected directly from patients. There may be occasions when we will need to obtain information from other sources, for example:

  • Other medical practitioners, such as former GPs and specialists
  • Other health care providers, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and
  • Hospitals and Day Surgery Centres

Both our practice staff and the medical practitioners may participate in the collection of this information and have access to the information in order to carry out their duties. In emergency situations we may need to collect personal information from relatives or other sources where we are unable to obtain the patient’s prior express consent. All practice staff are aware that a breach of patient confidentiality is considered adismissible offence.

Currently, medical records are kept indefinitely.

Use & Disclosure

With the patient’s consent, the practice staff will use and disclose the patient’s information for purposes such as:

  • Account keeping and billing purposes, including debt collection services
  • Referral to another medical practitioner or health care provider
  • Sending specimens, such as blood samples or skin biopsies, for analysis
  • Referral to a hospital for treatment and/or advice
  • Advice on treatment options
  • Management purposes of our practice
  • Quality assurance, practice accreditation and complaint handling
  • Meeting obligations of notification to our medical defence organizations or insurers
  • To prevent or lessen a serious threat to an individual’s life, health or safety
  • In the case of Worker’s Compensation claims, records of injury or illness are required to be reported to the employer/insurer.
  • Where legally required to do so, such as producing records to court, mandatory reporting of child abuse or the notification of diagnosis of certain communicable diseases
  • Placing current immunizations on to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register.

Access

Patients are entitled to access their own health records at any time convenient to both themselves and the practice.

Access can be denied where:

  • To provide access would create a serious threat to life or health
  • There is a legal impediment to access
  • The access would unreasonably impact on the privacy of another
  • The patient’s request is frivolous
  • The information relates to anticipated or actual legal proceedings and you would not be entitled to access the information in those proceedings
  • In the interests of national security

We ask that, where possible, the patient’s request be in writing addressed to the doctor concerned, at the practice. We may impose a charge for photocopying or for staff time involved in processing the patient’s request. Where you dispute the accuracy of the information we have recorded you are entitled to correct that information. It is our practice policy that will take all steps to record all of the patient’s corrections, and place them on the patient’s file, but will not erase the original record.

Consent

Patients are required to sign a written consent form to permit the activities nominated above. If a patient feels unable to sign the consent, the medical practitioner is available to discuss the matter. If a patient feels unable to allow the normal collection and recording of medical records as required by the standards of good medical practice and the requirements of the HIC and to give consent as required by the Privacy Legislation, it may not be possible to treat that patient in this practice.

In this case, every effort will be made to find an alternative source of care including public hospital outpatient facilities.

Patient Consent To Collect & Disclose Information

The Privacy Legislations requires medical practitioners to obtain consent from their patients to collect, use and disclose that patient’s personal information.

Both practice staff and medical practitioners may participate in the collection of this information. In an emergency situation, we may need to collect personal information from relatives or other sources where we are unable to obtain your prior express consent.