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Guidelines and Policies

Guidelines approved under Section 95A of the Privacy Act 1988 Cth Private
Provides a framework to ensure privacy protection of health information that is collected, used or disclosed in the conduct of research and the compilation or analysis of statistics, relevant to public health or public safety, and in the conduct of health service management activities.

Guidelines Under section 95 of the Privacy Act 1988 Cth Public
The Guidelines Under Section 95 of the Privacy Act 1988 provide a framework for the conduct of medical research using information held by Commonwealth agencies where identified information needs to be used without consent.

Health Information and the Privacy Act 1988 – A Short Guide for the Private Health Sector (January 2002) Cth Private
Privacy Commissioner
A brief overview of the Privacy Act in relation to the Private Health Sector.

Information Sheet (Private Sector) 9 – 2001: Handling Health Information for Research and Management Cth Private
Guidelines on when information collected can be used for research without the patient’s consent.

Privacy in the Private health Sector Cth Private
Privacy Commissioner
Comprehensive Guidelines to the 2001 amendments to the Privacy Act, covering Private Health Sector.


Health Privacy Principles (from Health Records Act)
The 11 Health Privacy Principles on the Storage, use and disclosure of confidential health information.

Health Records Act 2001
Privacy principles for protection of personal information.

Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 NSW
Requirements on the protection and use of personal information. Includes the Health Privacy Principles.

Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 NSW
Laws on the collection and use of personal information.

Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012 Cth
This Act merges the 11 Information Privacy Principles (IPPs) which apply principally to Commonwealth and ACT government agencies and 10 National Privacy Principles (NPPs) which bind non-government organisations, into a single set of 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). These privacy principles control the use and disclosure of health information. They differentiate between the primary purpose for use and disclosure (which is the dominant reason for the patient consenting to the provision of information) and secondary purposes (which are not the dominant reason for the provision of the information). Use or disclosure of information is permitted if the use or disclosure is related to the primary purpose of collection. Use or disclosure for a secondary purpose is also permitted but only when it directly relates to the primary purpose.

Toolkits and Protocols

Bioethics Resources on the Web

Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Some Privacy Issues for Doctors 2001 Cth Private
Privacy Commissioner
Introduction to the reforms of the Privacy Act and the National Privacy Principles that relate to the Private Health Sector.

The Regulation of Health Information Privacy in Australia


Recent HIV/AIDS Case: Confidentiality, Statutory Obligations and HIV/AIDS Cth
Australian Medical Association
Looks at the need to maintain confidentiality, the exceptions and the impact of the case PD v Dr Y & 1 Ors [2003] NSWSC 487 on HIV, Confidentiality and obligations to third parties.

Altaranesi v Administrative Decisions Tribunal [2012] NSWCA 19 NSW
Breach not found as there was express consent.

HCCC v Burggraaf [2012] NSWNMT 4 NSW
A nurse was found guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct and was reprimanded for having inappropriately accessed patients’ electronic records.

NK v Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service (No 2) [2011] NSWADT 81 NSW
Hospital breached Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) and the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 (NSW) and ordered to pay $40,000 damages.

Papers, Reports and Books

Healthcare Identifiers Service 2011-12 Annual Report: Healthcare Identifiers Service Operator Cth
Medicare Australia (2012)

Legal considerations of consent and privacy in the context of clinical photography in Australian medical practice
Patrick D Mahar, Peter A Foley, Alexander Sheed-Finck and Christopher S Baker
(2013) 198 (1) Medical Journal of Australia 48-49

Privacy Resources Handbook 2010 Cth
Australian Medical Association
A resource to help doctors comply with the Privacy Act 1988 as in force as at 1 July 2010, to be updated if and when the law is altered.

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