Our Privacy Policy

The Hamilton Medical Group Privacy Policy is revised on a regular basis, in line with the OAIC legislation. 

This policy is current as of 12 February 2018.

The HAMILTON MEDICAL GROUP takes your privacy seriously.  Privacy protection and confidentiality of health information is essential for quality health care and we are committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the information we handle about you.

 This policy explains:

-       How we collect, store, use and disclose your personal information.

-       How you may access your personal information.

-       How we protect the quality and security of your personal information.

-       How you may seek correction of any personal information we hold.

-       How you may make a complaint about our handling of your personal information.

In addition to our professional and ethical obligations, at a minimum, our Practice handles your personal information in accordance with Federal and State Privacy Law.  This includes complying with the Federal Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) forming part of the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) and the Victorian Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) forming part of the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).

More information about the APPs and HPPs can be found on the Australian Information Commissioner’s website www.oaic.gov.au or in hard copy on request from our Practice reception.

Collection of information

The Practice collects and holds personal information about you so that we may properly assess, diagnose, treat and be proactive in your health care needs.

The type of personal information we collect may include:

-       Personal details (name, address, date of birth, contact details).

-       Your medical history, including information about health conditions, social and family history, risk                      factors, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations and treatment you may have already                  received.

-       Notes made during the course of a medical consultation.

-       Referral to other health services providers.

-       Results and reports received from other health service providers.

-       Credit card or direct debit information for billing purposes.

-       Medicare number or Department of Veteran Affairs number for identification and claiming purposes.

-       Private health fund details.

 

Wherever practicable we will collect this information from you personally – either at the Practice, over the phone, via written correspondence, via the internet if you transact with us online, by completing our online or hard copy forms, or via the use of our HotDocs appointment and recall system.

In some instances we may need to collect information about you from other sources such as referring doctors, treating specialists, pathology, radiology, hospitals, other health care providers, private health funds, Medicare or Department of Veteran Affairs.  If it is not possible to collect information from you directly (i.e. in an emergency) we may also collect this information from your Guardian, next of kin or emergency contact, immediate family, friends or carers.                                                                                                                               

Use and disclosure

Your personal information will only be used or disclosed for purposes directly related to providing you with quality health care, or in ways you would reasonably expect us to use it in order to provide you with this service.

This includes use or disclosure:

 -      To the professional team directly involved in your health care, including treating doctors, pathology                  services, radiology services and other specialists outside this medical practice.  For example, this may              occur through referral to other doctors when requesting medical tests or in the report or result returned            to us following the referrals.

-       To the Practice’s administrative staff for billing and other administrative tasks necessary to run our                  practice.  Our staff are trained in the handling of personal information in accordance with the Practice                Privacy Policy.

-       To your health insurance fund, Medicare or other organisations responsible for the financial aspects of              your care.

-       Where required by law, for example, pursuant to a subpoena.

-       To insurers or lawyers for the defence of a medical claim.

-       To assist with the training and education of other health care professionals.

-       When necessary, to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety, or public                    health or safety, or it is impracticable to obtain the patient’s consent

-       During the course of providing medical services through the electronic transfer of prescriptions (ETP) or            My Health Record system or the use of the HotDocs online booking recall system.

-       Statutory requirements to lawfully share certain personal information, such as mandatory notification of            certain diseases.

If you do not wish for your information to be used for training of health professionals, please advise the Practice staff.

Our practice will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your expressed consent.  If you do consent you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing. 

Only those people who need to access your personal information will be able to do so.  Other than in the course of providing medical services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent. 

We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia, (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.

Our practice does not intend to disclose your personal information to overseas recipients.

Information Quality

We aim to ensure the information we hold about you is accurate, complete, up to date and relevant.  To this end our staff may ask you to confirm that your personal details are correct when you attend a consultation.  Please let us know if any of the information we hold about you is incorrect or not up to date.

Storage

Our Practice takes all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information we hold, by:

 -      Securing our premises.

-       Using passwords on all electronic systems and databases and varying access levels to protect electronic            information from unauthorised interference, access, modification or disclosure.

-       Storing hard copy records in secure filing cabinets or rooms that are accessible only to Practice staff.     

Access to your personal information

Under law you have a right to access personal information we hold about you.  Please contact our Practice Manager for more information on our Access to Medical Records Policy.

We ask that you put your request in writing.  A fee for the retrieval and copying of your medical record will apply, charged in accordance with the schedule of fees specified in the Health Records Regulations 2008 (Vic), plus GST.  This fee is not redeemable through Medicare.

Amendment of your personal information

Our practice will take responsible steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date.

We will ask you at different times, to verify your information held by our practice to make sure it is correct and up to date.

You have the right to access and correct personal information that we hold about you, in our electronic or hard copy format. 

If you wish to access or correct your personal information, we request that you put it in writing and contact the Practice Manager, Ms Michelle Brilley, on 03 5572 2422. 

Your request for access and/or correction will be processed within 30 days.

While we do not charge an application fee or processing fee, you may be charged administration, photocopying or other fees to reasonably cover our costs in fulfilling your request. 

We cannot change or remove something medically noted on your record, but you have the right to have the request documented on your record.

What happens if you choose to withhold your personal information?

You are not obliged to give us your personal information.  However, if you choose not to provide the Practice with the personal details requested, it may limit our ability to provide you with full service.  We encourage you to discuss your concerns with our reception staff prior to your first consultation with your doctor.

What about use of personal information for direct marketing?

Australian privacy law limits the use of personal information for direct marketing of goods and services.  We do not use your personal information for direct marketing.

What should I do if I have a privacy complaint?

If you have a complaint regarding the way your personal information has been handled by our Practice, please put it in writing and address it to the Practice Manager, PO Box 560, HAMILTON VIC 3300.  We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 14 days, and endeavour to provide a full response within 30 days of receipt.

Should you be dissatisfied with our response, you may lodge your written complaint with the Victorian Privacy Commissioner at https://www,privacy.vic.gov.au and/or the Victorian Health Services Commissioner at http://www.health.vic.gov.au, and/or with the Office of the Australian Information Consumer at www.oaic.gov.au or by calling 1300 363 992.

If you have a query regarding our Practice’s privacy policy, please contact our Practice Manager who will be happy to discuss the matter with you.

Policy review statement

This privacy policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is in accordance with any changes that may occur.  We will notify our patients of these changes via our website and a hard copy Privacy Policy is available at our practice premises.