AUSTRALIAN PRIVACY PRINCIPLES (APP) Policy

Part A - Purpose and Context

1.0 The Health Service is committed to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of all personal information affiliated with the Health Service's business undertakings.

1.1 The Health Service follows the terms and conditions of privacy and confidentiality in accordance to the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) as per schedule 1 of thePrivacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth), forming part of the Privacy Act 1988 ('the Act').

1.2 The purpose of this Privacy Policy is to clearly communicate how The Health Service collects and manages personal information.

1.3 The point of contact regarding any queries regarding this policy is The Practice Manager, Ph 07 33656210, healthservice@uq.edu.au

Part B - Australian Privacy Principles

2.0 As a private sector health service provider and under permitted health situations, The Health Service is required to comply with the APPs as prescribed under the Act.

2.1 The APPs regulate how The Health Service may collect, use, disclose and store personal information and how individuals, including The Health Service's patients may:

  • address breaches of the APPs by The Health Service;
  • access their own personal information; and,
  • correct their own personal information.

2.2 In order to provide patients with adequate health care services, The Health Service will need to collect and use personal information. It is important to be aware that if the patient provides incomplete or inaccurate information or the patient withholds personal health information The Health Service may not be able to provide said patient with the services they are requesting.

2.3 In this Privacy Policy, common terms and definitions include:

  • "personal information" as defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). Meaning
    "information or an opinion including information or an opinion forming part of a database, whether true or not, and whether recorded in a material format or not, about an individual whose identity is apparent, or can reasonably be ascertained, from the information or opinion"; and,
  • "health information" as defined by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). This is a particular subset of "personal information" and means information or an opinion about:

- the health or a disability (at any time) of an individual;

- an individual's expressed wishes about the future provision of health services to him or her; or,

- a health service provided or to be provided to an individual.

2.3.1 Personal information also includes 'sensitive information' which is information including, but not limited to a patient's:

  • race;
  • religion;
  • political opinions;
  • sexual preferences; and or,
  • health information.

2.3.2 Information deemed 'sensitive information' attracts a higher privacy standard under the Act and is subject to additional mechanisms for the patient's protection.

Part C - Types of personal information

3.0 The Health Service collects information from each individual patient that is necessary to provide said patient with adequate health care services.

3.1 This may include collecting information about a patient's health history, family history, ethnic background or current lifestyle to assist the health care team in diagnosing and treating a patient's condition.

Part D - collection & Retention

4.0 This information will in most circumstances be collected directly from you via registration form, medical consult form, face to face consultation etc.

4.1 In other instances, The Health Service may need to collect personal information about a patient from a third party source. This may include:

  • relatives; or,
  • other health service providers.

4.2 This will only be conducted if the patient has provided consent for The Health Service to collect his/her information from a third party source; or, where it is not reasonable or practical for The Health Service to collect this information directly from said patient. This may include where:

  • the patient's health is potentially at risk and his/her personal information is needed to provide them with emergency medical treatment.

4.3 The Health Service endeavours to store and retain a patient's personal & health information electronically onto a server etc].

Part E - Purpose of collection, Use & Disclosure

5.0 The Health Service only uses a patient's personal information for the purpose(s) they have provided the information for unless one of the following applies:

  • the patient has consented for The Health Service to use his/her information for an alternative or additional purpose;
  • the disclosure of the patient's information by The Health Service is reasonably necessary for the enforcement of criminal law or a law imposing a penalty or sanction, or for the protection of public revenue;
  • the disclosure of the patient's information by The Health Service will prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to somebody's life or health; or,
  • The Health Service is required or authorised by law to disclose your information for another purpose.

i. Health Professionals to provide treatment

During the patient's treatment at The Health Service he/she may be referred to alternative medical treatment/services (i.e. pathology or radiology) where The Health Service's staff may consult with senior medical experts when determining a patient's diagnosis or treatment.

The Health Service's staff may also refer the patient to other health service providers for further treatment during and following the patient's admission (i.e. physiotherapist or outpatient or community health services).

These health professionals will be designated health service providers appointed to use the patient's health information as part of the process of providing treatment. Please note that this process will be conducted whilst maintaining the confidentiality and privacy of the patient's personal information.

ii. Alternative Health services

At any point a patient wishes to be treated by an alternative medical practitioner or health care service that requires access to his/her personal/health information The Health Service requires written authorisation. This written authorisation is to state that the patient will be utilising alternative health services and that these health services have consented for a transfer of personal/health information.

iii. Other Third Parties

The Health Service may provide your personal information regarding a patient's treatment or condition to additional third parties. These third parties may include:

  • parent(s);
  • child/ren;
  • other relatives;
  • close personal friends;
  • guardians; or,
  • a person exercising a patient's power of attorney under an enduring power of attorney.

Where information is relevant or reasonable to be provided to third parties, written consent from the patient is required.

Additionally, the patient may at any time wish to disclose that no third parties as stated are to access or be informed about his/her personal information or circumstances.

iv. Other Uses of Personal Information

In order to provide the best possible environment in which to treat patients, The Health Service may also use personal/health information where necessary for:

  • activities such as quality assurance processes, accreditation, audits, risk and claims management, patient satisfaction surveys and staff education and training;
  • invoicing, billing and account management;
  • to liaise with a patient's health fund, Medicare, Department of Veteran's Affairs, or OSHC provider as necessary; and,
  • the purpose of complying with any applicable laws - i.e. in response to a subpoena or compulsory reporting to State or Federal authorities.

5.1 If at any point or for any of the aforementioned reasons The Health Service uses or discloses personal/ health information in accordance with the APPs, The Health Service will provide written notice for the patient's consent for the use and/or disclosure.

Part F - Access and changes to personal information

6.0 If an individual patient reasonably requests access to their personal information for the purposes of changing said information he/she must engage with the relevant practice manager.

6.1 The point of contact for patient access to personal information is:

Betty Hall
Practice Manager
07 33656212
healthservice@uq.edu.au

6.2 Once an individual patient requests access to his/her personal information The Health Service will respond within a reasonable period of time to provide said information.

6.3 All personal will be updated in accordance to any changes to a patient's personal circumstances brought to The Health Service's attention. All changes to personal information will be subject to patient's consent and acknowledgement.

6.4 If an individual requests access to his/her personal information The Health Service will charge a reasonable fee.

Part G - Complaints handling

7.0 How an individual patient may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles, or a registered APP code (if any) that binds the entity, and how the entity will deal with such a complaint.

Part H - Personal Information and overseas recipients

8.0 Use of Overseas Parties:

(a) The Health Service does not engage with any overseas entities, with which personal or health information would be transferred, appointed or disclosed unless requested to do so by the patient..

Part i - Disposal of personal/health information

9.0 If The Health Service receives any unsolicited personal information that is not deemed appropriate for the permitted health situation, The Health Service will reasonably de-identify and dispose of said information accordingly.

9.1 If The Health Service holds any personal or health information that is no longer deemed relevant or appropriate for the permitted health situation, The Health Service will reasonably de-identify and dispose of said information accordingly.

Part J - Access to policy

10.0 The Health Service provides free copies of this Privacy Policy for patients and staff to access, which can be/will be located/provided:

Hard Copies provided upon request

Part K - Review of Policy

11.1 The Health Service in accordance with any legislative change will review the terms and conditions of this policy to ensure all content is both accurate and up to date.

11.2 Notification of any additional review(s) or alteration(s) to this policy will be provided to patients and staff within one months notice. If change occurs patients and staff are required by the Health Service to review this Privacy policy.