Version 2. Current as of 22 August 2023
Our practice is committed to best practice in relation to the management of information we collect. This practice has developed a policy to protect patient privacy in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) (‘the Privacy Act’). Our policy is to inform you of:
- the kinds of information that we collect and hold, which, as a medical practice, is likely to be ‘health information’ for the purposes of the Privacy Act;
- how we collect and hold personal information;
- the purposes for which we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information;
- how you may access your personal information and seek the correction of that information;
- how you may complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we will deal with such a complaint;
- whether we are likely to disclose personal information to overseas recipients;
- What kinds of personal information do we collect?
The type of information we may collect, and hold includes:
- Your name, address, date of birth, email and contact details
- Medicare number, DVA number and other government identifiers, although we will not use these for the purposes of identifying you in our practice.
- Other health information about you, including:
– notes of your symptoms or diagnosis and the treatment given to you
– your specialist reports and test results
– your appointment and billing details
– your prescriptions and other pharmaceutical purchases
– your genetic information
– your healthcare identifier
– any other information about your race, sexuality or religion, when collected by a health service provider.
- How do we collect and hold personal information?
We will generally collect personal information:
- from you directly when you provide your details to us. This might be via a face to face discussion, telephone conversation, registration form or online form
- from a person responsible for you
- from third parties where the Privacy Act or other law allows it – this may include, but is not limited to: other members of your treating team, diagnostic centres, specialists, hospitals, the My Health Record system, electronic prescription services, Medicare, your health insurer, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- Why do we collect, hold, use and disclose personal information?
In general, we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information for the following purposes:
- to provide health services to you
- to communicate with you in relation to the health service being provided to
- to comply with our legal obligations, including, but not limited to, mandatory notification of communicable diseases or mandatory reporting under applicable child protection legislation.
- to help us manage our accounts and administrative services, including billing, arrangements with health funds, pursuing unpaid accounts, management of our ITC systems
- for consultations with other doctors and allied health professional involved in your healthcare;
- to obtain, analyse and discuss test results from diagnostic and pathology laboratories
- for identification and insurance claiming
- If you have a My Health Record, to upload your personal information to, and download your personal information from, the My Health Record system.
- Information can also be disclosed through an electronic transfer of prescriptions service.
- To liaise with your health fund, government and regulatory bodies such as Medicare, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) (if you make a privacy complaint to the OAIC), as necessary.
- For audit, quality assurance, teaching and education, to improve current methods of treatment and patient management. Only de-identified information is utilised for these purposes.
We may provide your personal information to third parties involved in your care, such as:
- Your parent (s), child/ren, other relatives/ close friends , guardians or a person exercising a power of attorney or enduring power of attorney.
We request that you nominate an authorised person at your initial consultation and this is a written consent which can be evoked at any time.
Your personal information may also be provided to third parties if we are legally obliged to do so by a court subpoena.
- How can you access and correct your personal information?
You have a right to seek access to, and correction of the personal information which we hold about you. If you make a request to access your personal information, we will provide suitable means of accessing it. We will not charge you for making this request. If you make a request for a hard copy of your personal information, we may charge you a fee to cover our reasonable costs for complying with this request for access.
For details on how to access and correct your health record, please contact our practice as noted below under ‘Contact Details’.
We will normally respond to your request within 30 days.
- How do we hold your personal information?
Our staff are trained and required to respect and protect your privacy. We take reasonable steps to protect information held from misuse and loss and from unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. This includes:
- Holding your information in secure cloud storage with strong password protections applied.
- Our staff sign confidentiality agreements and are trained on privacy.
- We maintain physical security over our paper records and premises.
- Access to personal information is restricted on a “need to know basis”.
- Our practice has document retention and destruction policies.
- We conduct regular risk management reviews.
- Privacy related questions and complaints
If you have a complaint about how we have dealt with your personal information or believe we have breached your privacy, you may lodge your complaint in writing to the Practice Manager of Oncology North Coast, details below under “Contact Details”. On receipt of your complaint, we will contact you within 5 business days to confirm what investigation will occur.
If you are dissatisfied with our response, you may refer the matter to the OAIC:
Phone: 1300 363 992
Fax: +61 2 9284 9666
Post: GPO Box 5218
Sydney NSW 2001
- Participation in research and clinical trials
The oncologists at Oncology North Coast actively participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials are subjected to rigorous approval by an Ethics Committee.
Your oncologist will explain the purpose of the clinical trial and ask that you sign a consent form before you can participate.
- Overseas disclosure.
We may disclose your personal information to the following overseas recipients:
- any practice or individual who assists us in providing services (such as where you have come from overseas and had your health record transferred from overseas or have treatment continuing from an overseas provider)
- anyone else to whom you authorise us to disclose it.
- Privacy and websites
Links to other websites
Our website may link to external sites that are not operated by us and we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices employed by those websites. Before disclosing your personal information on any other website, we recommend that you carefully read the terms and conditions of use and privacy statement of the relevant website.
- Updates to this Policy
This Policy will be reviewed from time to time to take account of new laws and technology, changes to our operations and other necessary developments. Updates will be publicised on the practice’s website.
- Contact details for privacy related issues
The Practice Manager
Ph: 02 6622 1865
Post: Oncology North Coast 55 Avondale Avenue, East Lismore NSW 2480