Gippsland Gastroenterology is committed to caring for your privacy. We collect and hold personal health information from you so that we may properly assess, diagnose, treat and be proactive in your health care needs. We take our obligations under the Victorian Health Records Act 2001 and the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 seriously and ensure we take all reasonable steps in order to protect the privacy of the personal information that we hold.
As all members of our professional team involved in your care will have access to your personal information we require all our employees and contractors to observe obligations of confidentiality in the course of their employment/contract.
Other than as described in this Policy or permitted under the National Privacy Act, Gippsland Gastroenterology will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure that identifying health information is not disclosed to any person.
We may use and disclose the information you provide in the following ways:
- for the purpose the patient was advised of at the time of collection of the information;
- Disclosure to others involved in your health care, including treating doctors, pathology services, radiology services and the other specialist outside this medical practice. This may occur through referral to other doctors, or for medical tests and in the reports or results returned to us following the referrals.
- Disclosure to enable recording on medical registers (i.e the Bowel Cancer Screening Program)
- Administrative purpose in running our medical practice, including our insurer or medical indemnity provider, and quality assurance and accreditation bodies.
- Billing purposes, including providing information to your health insurance fund, Medicare and other organisation responsible for the financial aspects of your care.
- Assisting with training and education of other health professionals.
- as required under compulsion of law;
- Where there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health, or safety; or a serious threat to public health or public safety.
In most cases we will obtain the information directly from you or your treating Doctors.
Our goal is to ensure that your information is accurate, complete and up to date. To assist us with this, please contact us if any of the details you have provided change.
As we keep health information for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry in the patient record (unless the patient was a child in which case the record must be kept until the patient attains or would have attained 25 years of age) and due to the sensitive nature of the information, we take all reasonable steps to protect the security of the information that we hold. This includes appropriate measures to protect electronic materials and materials stored and generated in hard copy.
Our electronic files are password-protected on several levels and computer backup tapes are stored offsite. All hardcopy records are either securely stored or destroyed as per the standards of the Public Records Office of Victoria.
Treatment of Children
The rights of children to the privacy of their health information, based on the professional judgement of the doctor and consistent with law, might restrict access to the child’s information by parents or guardians.
What happens if you choose not to provide the information?
You are not obliged to give us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide personal details – eg name, address, or date of birth, we may not be able to provide you with the full range of our services.
Please contact our Practice Manager if you wish to:
- complain to us about a breach of privacy;
- access your own information held by us; or
- correct any information held by us concerning your information; or
- find out more about how we deal with personal information,
All complaints will be dealt with fairly and as quickly as possible. We prefer that your complaint is in writing.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of our handling of your complaint you may contact the Victorian Health Services Commissioner or the Federal Privacy Commissioner. Privacy Hotline: 1300 363 992. www.privacy.gov.au.