Current as of: November 2022
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 thinkable 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.
What personal information do we collect and hold?
We may collect the following types of personal information:
- your name, address and telephone number;
- your age or date of birth;
- your Medicare number, Veterans’ Affairs number, Health Care Card number, health fund details or pension number;
- current drugs or treatments used by you;
- information relevant to your medical care, including but not limited to your previous and current medical history and your family medical history (where clinically relevant);
- your ethnic background;
- your profession, occupation or job title;
- the name of any health service provider or medical specialist to whom you are referred, copies of any letters of referrals and copies of any reports back.
We may also collect some information that is not personal information because it does not identify you or anyone else. For example, we may collect anonymous answers to surveys.
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.
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.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
- We may also collect your personal information when you telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
- 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).
Information can also be collected through MyHealth Record, e.g. via Shared Health Summary and an Event Summary and by Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP).
What happens if we can’t collect your personal information?
If you do not provide us with the personal information described above, some or all of the following may happen:
- we may not be able to provide the requested services to you, either to the same standard or at all; or
- your diagnosis and treatment may be inaccurate or incomplete.
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. We collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:
- to provide medical services and treatment to you, and to enable you to be attended by our medical practitioners;
- for administrative and billing purposes;
- to update our records and keep your contact details up to date;
- to process and respond to any complaint made by you;
- to comply with any law, rule, regulation, lawful and binding determination, decision or direction of a regulator, or in co-operation with any governmental authority of any country;
- for the purposes of data research and analysis including conducting clinical trials and proactive screenings and for the purpose of sending you direct marketing communications in relation to these;
- for inclusion in a recall register to be advised of follow up visits and medical updates;
- for the purpose of reporting back to your employer or prospective employer, their authorised representatives and their insurer in the case of a work-related consultation or service;
- to answer enquiries and provide information or advice about existing and new products or services and all matters relevant to the services we provide to you;
- to meet obligations of notification to our medical defence organisations or insurers;
- 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;
- when it is required or authorised by law (e.g. 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;
- when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification).
Only people that 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.
Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. These forms may be as an electronic record, paper records visual x-rays and video recordings for training purposes.
Our practice stores all personal information securely.
All data both electronic and paper are stored and managed in accordance with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Computer and Information Security Standards (CISS) and the requirements of Medeco Medical Centre Business Continuity Plan. All employees and third parties have confidentiality agreements in place.
We take reasonable steps to ensure your personal information is protected from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. We may hold your information in either electronic or hard copy form. Personal information is destroyed or de-identified when no longer needed.
As our website is linked to the internet, and the internet is inherently insecure, we cannot provide any assurance regarding the security of transmission of information you communicate to us online. We also cannot guarantee that the information you supply will not be intercepted while being transmitted over the internet. Accordingly, any personal information or other information which you transmit to us online is transmitted at your own risk.
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 and either mail or fax this request and our practice will respond within a reasonable time.
The surgery will respond to this request within 7 – 14 days of receiving this request.
Fees that will be associated with providing this information will be $38.00 for the first 33 pages and $1.40 thereafter. Once payment is received copy of file will be sent by registered post to your nominated GP.
Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. 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 the Practice manager at 535 High Street Penrith NSW
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. Please send your privacy-related complaint to:
Medeco Medical Centre
535 High Street
PENRITH NSW 2750.
Your complaint will be investigated and outcome advised within 30 days.
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.
Policy review statement