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Guidelines and Policies

Information Sheet (Private Sector) 21 – 2008: Denial of access to health information due to a serious threat to life or health Cth Private
Privacy Commissioner
When a health service provider may deny access to health information due to serious threats to life or health.

Information Sheet (Private Sector) 22 – 2008: Fees for access to health information under the Privacy Act Cth Private
Privacy Commissioner
Limitations on charging patients for access to their health records.

Data collections-disclosure of unit record data for research or management of health services NSW
NSW Health
This mandatory policy refers to disclosure of unit record data relating to the health of an individual or individuals, which are held in data collections owned by the NSW Ministry of Health, including those data collections that are managed by an external agency on behalf of the Ministry.

National E-Health Transition Authority Cth
The Commonwealth Government approved the development of the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system in 2010. NEHTA is managing implementation on behalf of the Department of Health and Ageing (DOHA). Consumers can choose to opt-in to the personally controlled electronic (eHealth) record.

Legislation

Freedom of Information Act 1982 Cth
Cth Act providing patients with access to their health records in Cth run facilities. There are limitations on access.

Government Information Public Access Act 2009 NSW
Gives people a right of access to records held by State organisations, including public hospitals. There are limitations on access.

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 NSW
Allows for access to personal health records held by public and private organisations under the Health Privacy Principles. There are limitations on access.

Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 Cth
A national system for providing uniquely identifying numbers to health-care providers (health-care provider organisations and individual health-care providers) and individuals.

Personally Controlled Electronic Health Records Act 2012 (PCEHR Act) Cth
The Act enables the creation of a secure, voluntary, electronic record that can be accessed by the patient, the patient’s authorised representatives (parents of children or substitute decision-makers for incapacitated adults), the patient’s nominated representatives (people who have been expressly appointed by the patient to have access to the PCEHR); and treating health care providers. The National Electronic Health Transitional Authority (NEHTA) is responsible for the PCEHRs system.

Privacy Act 1988 Cth
Gives a patient right of access to information held by federal government agencies under the Information Privacy Principles (IPPs), and also to information held by private entities under the National Privacy Principles (NPPs). There are limitations on access. This has recently been amended by the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 (Cth) which merges IPPs and NPPs into Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 NSW
Only deals with health information contained in public registers.

Cases

Health Services for Men v D’Souza (2000) 48 NSWLR 448 NSW
Case on ownership of medical records.

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