Current as of: April 14 2016
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 possible 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.
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. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (eg staff training). Please note that you are not obliged to give us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide Healthwise Medical Centre with the personal details required for assessment of your health, we may not be able to provide you with the full range of our services necessary for your health management.
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes:
names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
health fund details.
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 will collect your personal information:
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.
If you wish to participate in the online Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR), Integrated Care Collaborative or any other programs being undertaken by the practice – please note you will be asked for your consent before being signed up to any programs/initiatives being undertaken by the practice.
We may also collect your personal information when you send us an email, 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 Veteran's Affairs (as necessary).
Who do we share your personal information with?
We sometimes share your personal information:
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
with other healthcare providers
when it is required or authorised by law (eg 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
to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)
during the course of providing medical services, through programs being undertaken by the practice such as PCEHR, for information on programs being currently undertaken by the practice see the reception staff who will direct you to the appropriate staff member.
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. If you do consent, you may opt-out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information is stored at our practice as electronic records. All hard copy information is scanned into patient files and the original copy destroyed (unless exceptional circumstances require us to keep the original hard copy eg. In the event of a power failure)
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 a doctor/specialist/other approved party to send a request for release of your medical records. There may be administration costs involved with the release of your records – please see reception staff for details of any fees that may be incurred. Our practice endeavours to respond to all requests for information within 30days.
Our practice will takes reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up-to-date. From time-to-time, we will ask you to verify your personal information held by our practice is correct and up-to-date. You may also request that we correct or update your information upon presentation to the practice.
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 and endeavor to do this within 30 days. Alternatively you can request our practices general complaint form, fill this in and return it to the practice manager. Please address all complaints to:
The Practice Manager
Healthwise Medical Centre
PO Box 40
Tweed Heads NSW 2486
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 or call the OAIC on 1300 336 002.
Policy review statement