Purpose

This document explains how personal information about you and your health is recorded and managed in our practice. We also have a written privacy policy describing how we manage personal information. You can receive a copy of our policy free of charge upon request or access it via our practice website.

Personal Information

The ‘personal information’ we collect includes your name, date of birth, address/es, contact details, Medicare number, healthcare identifiers and health fund details. Medical information may include medical history and any care you may need. GPs need information about your past and present health in order to provide you with high-quality care.

Our practice follows the guidelines of the RACGP’s Handbook for the management of health information in general practice, 3rd edition (the Handbook). The Handbook incorporates federal and state privacy legislation, and the Australian Privacy Principles, which requires that your personal information is kept private and secure.

Your Medical Records

We take steps to ensure that your medical records:

  • are accurate, complete, well-organised and legible
  • are up-to-date
  • contain enough information to allow another GP to care for you
  • contain a summary of your care can be used to remind you, with your permission, to return for follow up, check-ups and reviews.

If you are uncertain why information is being requested, please ask your GP or the practice staff.

If you wish to remain anonymous while accessing healthcare services, please talk to the practice staff.

Providing Your Information to Other GPs

In this practice, it is normal for all GPs to have access to your medical records. If you have any concerns about this please discuss with your GP or practice staff. Medical histories are required and identities need to be confirmed before a GP makes a diagnosis or can prescribe medications. GPs are obliged by law to report communicable diseases and child abuse.

It is important that others involved in your care, such as medical specialists, are informed of the relevant parts of your medical history, so they can provide the best care. Your health care may experience detriment if you wish to remain anonymous, with previous test results unavailable to our GP and further tests not possible.

Providing Your Information to Others

GPs respect your right to decide how your personal information is used or shared. For example, this may be sharing your health information with specialist doctors. Personal information that identifies you will only be sent to other people with your consent, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Gaining your consent is the guiding principle used by this practice in using and sharing your information.

Our practice will not share your personal health information with anyone else unless:

  • you have consented to this sharing, or
  • we are legally obliged to disclose the information, in which case your GP will first discuss with you the information legally requiring disclosure, or
  • the information is needed for you to obtain Medicare payments or other health insurance rebates, or
  • there is an overriding public health and safety interest in the release of the information.

In the above cases, only information needed to meet the requirements will be provided. Your health information will not normally be sent overseas unless:

  • you are informed and provide consent for this to occur, and
  • the overseas country receiving the information has privacy laws that are very similar to the Australian Privacy Principles.