Health Care Privacy Policy

Dr John Sullivan is committed to providing quality health care for his patients. As a fundamental part of this commitment he recognises the importance of ensuring that his patients are fully informed and involved in their health care.

Dr John Sullivan is, as a NSW health provider in the private sector, bound by the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW) and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), this includes both the Australian Privacy Principles and the NSW Health Privacy Principles. These principles set the standards by which Dr Sullivan handles personal information collected from his patients. A copy of both sets of Principles is available for inspection at the reception desk, or on-line (oaic.gov.au).

As a part of Dr Sullivan’s commitment to providing quality health care it is necessary for him to maintain files pertaining to your health. The files contain the following types of information:

• Personal details (your name, address, date of birth, Medicare number);

• Your medical history;

• Notes made during the course of medical consultations;

• Referrals to other health service providers;

• Results and reports received from other health service providers.

The information held about you is provided by you or arises as a consequence of information provided by you.

Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy.  The file will be accessed by Dr Sullivan, and when necessary, for example in the absence of Dr Sullivan, by other medical practitioners in the practice.  It may also be necessary for Dr Sullivan’s staff to handle your file from time to time to address the administrative requirements of running a medical practice.  Dr Sullivan’s staff members are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment and these requirements will be observed if it is necessary for them to view your records.

At times, to ensure the function of Dr Sullivan’s practice, it may also be necessary to allow external organisations to access Dr Sullivan’s practice and possibly, to view the medical records. Any external organisation that provides service or advice to Dr Sullivan will be aware of the need to preserve the requirement of state and federal privacy legislation and will be bound by a confidentiality agreement.

Dr Sullivan does not intend to disclose your personal information to overseas recipients, unless it is to do with clinical trials work, and if so, a separate privacy notice will be utilised.

Ordinarily Dr Sullivan will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent. However, Dr Sullivan could advise that there may be occasions where he will be required, as required by the law, to release the details of your file irrespective of whether your consent to the disclosure of the information is given.

Dr Sullivan advises that as a patient of his practice you have rights of access to any information he holds concerning you. Should you wish to access this information Dr Sullivan refers you to the Office Manager.

As part of Dr Sullivan’s commitment to preserving the confidentiality of the information contained in your medical record he advises that strict secure storage policies are observed in his practice.  All reasonable steps are taken to prevent any unlawful interference with your electronic records, which are accessible only by staff of his practice and are protected by a security password. Your paper records are kept in secure filing cabinets and accessible only by practice staff. Each member of staff is well versed in the principles and importance of doctor–patient confidentiality.

Should you, at any time, have a query or complaint in relation to the privacy policies in place with Dr Sullivan please contact the Office Manager who will be happy to address any concerns you may have. Dr Sullivan advises that it is his policy that any complaint is required to be made in writing and addressed to the Office Manager and marked private and confidential. Dr Sullivan advises that he will make his best endeavours to address complaints within 30 days of receipt of your complaint.

Should you be unsatisfied with Dr Sullivan’s response to your privacy request, you may lodge a written complaint with the NSW Privacy Commissioner or the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

Dr John Sullivan

Dec 2015