At your first appointment with us we will ask you to read our policy and sign the relevant consent form.


It is necessary for us to collect personal information from patients and sometimes others associated with their health care in order to attend to their health needs and for associated administrative purposes.

Sensitive Information

Health information is ‘sensitive information’ for the purposes of privacy legislation.  This means that generally patients’ consent will be sought to collect health information that is necessary to make accurate medical diagnosis, prescribe appropriate treatment and to be proactive in patient health care.

Use and disclosure

A patient’s personal health information is used or disclosed for purposes directly related to their health care and in ways that are consistent with a patient’s expectations.  In the interests of providing the highest quality and continuity of health care this may include sharing information with other health care providers who comprise a patient’s medical team.  In addition there are circumstances when information has to be disclosed without patient consent, such as:

  • Emergency situations
  • By law, doctors are sometimes required to disclose information for public interest reasons, eg mandatory reporting of communicable diseases
  • It may be necessary to disclose patient information in order to fulfil a medical indemnity insurance obligation
  • Provision of information to Medicare or private health funds, if relevant, for billing and medical rebate purposes

In general a patient’s health information will not be used for any other purposes without their consent.

There are some situations where patient information will be used beyond providing health care, such as professional accreditation, quality assessments, clinical auditing and billing. We may also use your information in a fully de-identified manner for certain research and publication purposes.

Email correspondence

As our emails are not encrypted, we cannot guarantee email is always a secure form of communication. We do, however, take reasonable steps to protect the privacy of the patient and security of their health information.

Data Quality

All patient information held by this practice relevant to the functions of providing health care will be maintained in a form that is accurate, complete and up to date.

Data Security

The storage, use and, where necessary, transfer of personal health information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects patient privacy.  It is necessary for medical practices to store patient information after a patient’s last attendance for as long as is required by law, or is prudent, having regard to administrative requirements.

Access and correction

On request, this practice will disclose to patients, what sort of personal information we keep, for what purposes, and how we manage that information.

Patients may request access to their personal health information held by this practice.

  • Where necessary, patients will be given the opportunity to amend any personal information held that is incorrect.
  • There are some circumstances in which access is restricted, and in these cases reasons for denying access will be explained.
  • A charge may be payable where the practice incurs costs in providing access.
  • This practice acknowledges the right of children to privacy of their health information.  Based on the professional judgment of the doctor and consistent with the law, it might at times be necessary to restrict access to personal health information by parents or guardians.  Upon request a patient’s health information held by this practice will be made available to another health service provider.


A patient has a right to be dealt with anonymously, provided this is lawful and practicable.  However, in the medical context this is not likely to be practicable or possible for Medicare and insurance rebate purposes.  It could also be dangerous to the patient’s health.

Transfer of patient information interstate and overseas

Individual’s privacy is protected Australia-wide by privacy laws.  We will take steps to protect patient privacy if information is to be sent interstate or outside Australia. We will not share information with overseas entities unless they comply with or have equivalent privacy principles as Australia.

*Adapted from Australian Medical Association resources for use by this practice*

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