PRIVACY AND ACCESS POLICY
Version 3.0 February 2019
Romsey Medical Centre takes its obligations under the Victorian Health Records Act 2002 and the Australian Privacy Principles seriously and takes all reasonable steps in order to comply and protect the privacy of the personal information that we hold. This policy sets out how we achieve this.
Collection of information
Romsey Medical Centre collects and holds personal health information about you.
The main reason we collect information from you is so that we may properly assess, diagnose and treat your health care needs. The information we may ask you is personal. Without this information we may be restricted our capacity to provide you with the standard of medical care that you expect.
All members of the professional team involved in your care will have access to your personal information.
This means we may use and disclose the information you provide in the following ways:
Disclosure to others involved in your health care, including doctors and specialists outside this practice who may become involved in treating you, pathology services, radiology services and in emergency situations. This may occur through referral to other doctors or specialists, or for medical tests and in the reports or results returned to us following the referrals.
By law, doctors are sometimes required to disclose information for public interest reasons e.g. mandatory reporting of communicable diseases.
Disclosure to enable recording on medical registers to improve community health care (for example, 'MyHealthRecord' eHealth program, diabetes register or Pap smear register).
Administrative purposes in running our medical practice, including our insurer or medical indemnity provider, and quality assurance and accreditation bodies.
Billing purposes, including providing information to Medicare Australia and other organisations responsible for the financial aspects of your care.
For conducting medical research. You will be informed when such activities are being conducted and your involvement will only take place if you provide express signed consent for each program where identified information is required. De-identified information may be used for research purposes without express signed consent. This only occurs with NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) approved research projects. https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/
Assisting with training and education of other health professionals. You will be informed when such activities are being conducted and your involvement will only take place if you provide express consent to your medical practitioner for each program.
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. Further, if you believe that the information we have about you is not accurate, complete or up-to-date, contact us and we will use all reasonable efforts to correct the information.
The storage, use and, where necessary, the transfer of personal health information will be undertaken in a secure manner that protects patient privacy. We will take all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information that we hold. This includes appropriate measures to protect electronic materials stored and generated in hard copy. It is necessary for medical practices to keep patient information after a patient’s last attendance for as long as required by law or is prudent, having regard to administrative requirements.
Legal reasons why we collect personal information
Some information we collect is in order to comply with our legal obligations, for example - mandatory reporting or Accreditation requirements.
What happens if you choose not to provide the information?
You are not obliged to provide us your personal information. However, if you choose not to provide us with your personal details such as name, address, date of birth and contact information, we may not be able to provide you with the full range of our services.
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, may restrict access to the child’s information by parents or guardians.
If you have any complaints about our privacy practices or wish to make a complaint about how your personal information is managed please contact the Business Manager. All complaints will be dealt with fairly and as quickly as possible.
A privacy complaint relates to any concern or dispute that you have with our privacy practices as it relates to your personal information. This could include matters such as how personal information is collected, stored, used, disclosed or how access is provided.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of our handling of your complaint you may contact the Victorian Health Complaints Commissioner on Freecall 1300 582 113, visit their website
Access to Health Records
If you would like access to, or a copy of your information (including health information), please complete this form and authorisation: Request for Access to Health Record
To obtain access to your information you will have to provide proof of your identity. This is necessary to ensure that personal information is provided only to correct and authorised individuals.
Costs and charges
There is no fee to lodge a request for access.
Romsey Medical Centre may charge a reasonable fee to cover administrative costs such as photocopying. There are limits to the fees we can charge and these are prescribed in the Health Records Act 2002 (Vic).
These charges cannot be claimed on Medicare of Health Funds.