We respect your rights to privacy and have a legal obligation to abide by the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (the Act). The rules that an organisation must follow under the Act are known as the Australian Privacy Principles, and cover areas including the collection, use, disclosure, quality and security of personal information. Our practice is also governed by a number of State-specific privacy laws.
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.
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; and
- any additional information relating to you that you provide to us directly through our representatives, medical or allied health professionals providing services at or from our practice.
How do we collect your personal information?
We collect your personal information directly from you unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so. When collecting personal information from you, we may collect it in ways including:
- by you completing one of our registration or patient information forms;
- as disclosed by you during the course of a consultation at our practice or by phone, or if you email us, or
We may also collect personal information from third parties including:
- information provided on your behalf with your consent;
- from a health service provider who refers you to medical practitioners or allied health professionals providing services at or from our Centres, Clinics or Call Centres;
- from health service providers to whom you are referred;
- from your employer or prospective employer; or
- from third party bodies such as law enforcement agencies and other government entities.
What happens if we can’t collect your personal information?
If you do not provide us with the personal information described above:
- 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.
For what purposes do we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information?
We collect personal information about you so that we can perform our business activities and functions and to provide the best possible quality of service 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 medical practitioners or other allied health professionals at our Centres, Clinics or Call Centres;
- 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 conduct business processing functions including providing personal information to our related bodies corporate, contractors, service providers or other third parties;
- for the administrative, marketing (including direct marketing), planning, product or service development, quality control and research purposes; and
- to meet obligations of notification to our medical defence organisations or insurers.
To whom may we disclose your information?
We may disclose your personal information to:
- our employees, our medical professionals and allied health practitioners who provide medical services to you at our Centres and Clinics, related bodies corporate, contractors or service providers for the purposes of operation of our business, fulfilling requests by you, and to otherwise provide products and services to you including, without limitation, web hosting providers, IT systems administrators, mailing houses, couriers, payment processors, data entry service providers, electronic network administrators, debt collectors, and professional advisors such as accountants, solicitors, business advisors and consultants;
- suppliers and other third parties with whom we have commercial relationships, for business, marketing, and related purposes;
- your employer or prospective employer, their authorised representatives and their insurer in the case of a work-related consultation or service; and
- any organisation or person for any authorised purpose with your express consent.
Direct marketing materials
We may send you direct marketing communications and information about our products and services that we consider may be of interest to you. These communications may be sent in various forms, including mail, SMS and email, in accordance with all applicable marketing laws, such as the Spam Act 2003 (Cth). If, in your dealings with us, you indicate a preference for a method of communication, we will endeavour to use that method whenever practical to do so. In addition, at any time you may opt-out of receiving marketing communications from us by contacting us or by using opt-out facilities provided in the marketing communications and we will then ensure that your name is removed from our mailing list.
How can you access and correct your personal information?
You may request access to any personal information we hold about you at any time by contacting us. Where we hold information that you are entitled to access, we will try to provide you with suitable means of accessing it (for example, by mailing or emailing it to you). We may charge you a fee to cover our administrative and other reasonable costs in providing the information to you and these will be at the current AMA scheduled prices. We will not charge for simply making the request and will not charge for making any corrections to your personal information.
There may be instances where we cannot grant you access to the personal information we hold; however, we will only do so in accordance with our rights and obligations under the Act. For example, we may need to refuse access if granting access would interfere with the privacy of others or if it would result in a breach of confidentiality. If that happens, we will give you written reasons for any refusal.
If you believe that personal information we hold about you is incorrect, incomplete or inaccurate, then you may send us a written request us to amend it, including the basis on which you are requesting the amendment. We will consider if the information requires amendment. If we do not agree that there are grounds for amendment then we will add a note to the personal information stating that you disagree with it.
What is the process for complaining about a breach of privacy?
If you believe that your privacy has been breached, please contact us in accordance with the arrangements set out below and provide details of the incident so that we can investigate it.
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 emails are 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.
We will treat your requests or complaints confidentially. Our practice manager will contact you within a reasonable time (usually within 14 days) after receipt of your complaint to discuss your concerns and outline options regarding how they may be resolved. We will aim to ensure that your complaint is resolved in a timely and appropriate manner.
Alternatively you can write to us at:
Carlingford Court Shopping Centre, Carlingford NSW 2118
Or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org