We protect the privacy of patient information and handling of personal information in a responsible manner in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988, Australian Privacy Principles, and relevant State and Territory privacy legislation.
- how we collect, use, and disclose your personal information
- how you may access that information
- how you may seek the correction of any information
- how you may make a complaint about a breach of privacy legislation.
We only collect information that is necessary and relevant to provide you with medical care & treatment, and to manage our medical practice. This information may include your name, address, date of birth, gender, health information, family history and contact details. This information is stored on our computer medical records system.
Wherever practicable, we only collect information from you personally. However, we may also need to collect information from other sources such as treating specialists, radiologists, pathologists, hospitals and other health care providers.
We collect information in various ways, such as over the telephone, in writing, in person in our medical practice, and over the internet if you transact with us online. This information may be collected by medical and non-medical staff.
In emergency situations, we may also need to collect information from your relatives or friends.
We are required by law to retain medical records for certain periods of time depending on your age at the time we provide services.
USE AND DISCLOSURE
We treat your personal information as strictly private and confidential. We only use or disclose it for purposes directly related to your care and treatment, or in ways you would reasonably expect us to use it for your ongoing care & treatment. For example, the disclosure of blood test results to your specialist, or requests for x-rays.
There are circumstances where we are permitted or required by law to disclose your personal information to third parties. For example, to Medicare, police, insurers, solicitors, government regulatory bodies, courts of law, hospitals, or debt collection agencies. We may also, from time-to-time, provide statistical data to third parties for research purposes.
We may disclose information about you to outside contractors to carry out activities on our behalf, such as IT service providers, solicitors, or debt collection agents. However, we impose security and confidentiality requirements on how they handle your personal information. Outside contractors are required not to use information about you for any purpose except for those activities we have asked them to perform.
DATA QUALITY AND SECURITY
We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is accurate, complete, up-to-date and relevant. For this purpose, our staff may ask you to confirm that your contact details are correct when you attend a consultation. We request that you let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or out of date.
Personal information that we hold is protected by:
- securing our premises;
- placing passwords & varying access levels on databases to limit access and protect electronic information from unauthorised interference, access, modification, and disclosure; and
- providing locked cabinets and rooms for the storage of physical records.
If you believe that the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, we request that you contact us in writing (see contact below & on this website).
You are entitled to request access to your medical record. We ask that you put any request in writing, and we respond to it as soon as possible.
There is a fee for the administrative cost of retrieving, printing, and delivering a copy of your medical record to you.
We may deny access to your medical record in certain circumstances permitted by law. For example, where disclosure may lead to a serious threat to your health or safety. We always tell you if and why access is denied, and the options you have to respond to our decision.
If you have a complaint about the privacy of your personal information, we request that you contact us in writing. Upon receipt of a complaint, we consider the details and attempt to resolve it with you.
If you are dissatisfied with our handling of a complaint or the outcome, you may make an application to the Australian Information Commissioner or the Privacy Commissioner in your State or Territory or the Health Care Complaints Commission.
OVERSEAS TRANSFER OF DATA
We do not transfer your personal information to any overseas recipient, unless we have your consent, or are required to do so by law.
Please direct any queries, complaints, requests for access to a medical record, in writing to:
The Practice Manager
Balmoral Medical Practice
148-152 Spit Road, Mosman, NSW 2088