The purpose of this document is to outline how Dr. Mastakov’s medical practice complies with its confidentiality and privacy obligations in accordance to the Privacy Act. The Federal Privacy Act (1988) applies to personal information. In 2001 the Privacy Act was amended to include the Private Health Sector throughout Australia. Health information is a particular subset of personal information and can include any information collected to provide a health service, such as a person’s name, address, account details, Medicare number and any health information such as a medical or personal opinion about a person’s health, disability or health status.
As a patient of Dr. Mastakov’s medical practice you are required to provide your personal details and a full medical history, so that he may properly assess, diagnose, treat and be proactive in your health care needs. Dr. Mastakov aims to protect the privacy and secure storage of your health information in accordance with the Privacy Act.
Dr. Mastakov and his professional team collect personal information regarding patients (including health information) for the purpose of providing medical services and treatment. Personal information collected will generally include:
- the patient’s name, address, telephone number and Medicare number,
- current drugs or treatments used by the patient,
- previous/current medical history, including, where clinically relevant, a family medical history, and
- the name of any health service provider or medical specialist to whom the patient is referred, copies of any letters of referrals and copies of any reports back.
We may access information:
- provided directly by the patient,
- provided on the patient’s behalf with the patient’s consent
- from a health service provider who refers the patient to Dr. Mastakov, or from health service
providers to whom patients are referred.
As a patient, you will be required to sign the Health Information Collection and Use Consent Form at your first visit to Dr. Mastakov’s medical practice.
You are not obliged to provide any information requested and can choose to be dealt with anonymously, provided this is lawful and practicable. However, this may compromise the quality of health care and treatment given to you. Also, it is not likely to be practicable or possible for Medicare and insurance rebate purposes.
Use or disclosure of personal information
All members of the professional team involved in your care will have access to your personal information. This means we may use and disclose the information you provide in the following ways:
- For the purpose advised to the patient at the time of collection of the information
- Administrative purposes in running our medical practice.
- Billing purposes, including providing information to your Health Insurance fund, the Health Insurance Commission (Medicare) and other organisations responsible for the financial aspects of your care.
- To deliver the health services and treatment to the patient.
- Disclosure to others involved in your healthcare including treating doctors and specialists outside this medical practice. This may occur though referral to other doctors, or for medical tests and in the reports or results returned to us following referrals.
- Disclosure to other doctors in the practice, locums etc. attached to the practice for the purpose of patient care and teaching.
- as required under compulsion of law, or where there is a serious and imminent threat to an individual’s life, health, or safety; or a serious threat to public health or public safety.
- To comply with any legislative or regulatory requirements eg notifiable diseases.
- For reminder letters which may be sent to you regarding your health care and management.
You can decline to have your health information used in all or some of the ways outlined above but it may influence our ability to manage your health care to provide the best outcome for you.
Accuracy of your information
Dr. Mastakov and his professional team are committed to ensuring your information is accurate and has processes in place to ensure that the accuracy of this information is maintained. If you believe that the personal information that Dr. Mastakov holds about you is inaccurate, please inform his staff on your next attendance.
Security of information collected
Other than as described in this Policy or permitted under privacy principles, Dr. Mastakov uses its reasonable endeavours to ensure that identifying health information is not disclosed to any person unnecessarily or irresponsibly.
Due to the sensitive nature of the information collected by Dr. Mastakov to provide his services, extra precautions are taken to ensure the security of that information. Information may be stored electronically and / or in hard copy form. All electronically stored files are password-protected, and regular backups of data are performed.
Dr. Mastakov requires its employees to observe obligations of confidentiality in the course of their employment with all staff signing Confidentiality Agreements.
How long are medical records kept?
Dr. Mastakov keeps health information for a minimum of 7 years from the date of last entry in the patient records unless the patient is / was a child in which case the record must be kept until the patient attains or would have attained 25 years of age.
Accessing your information
On request, you may have access to your medical record held by Dr. Mastakov, except in circumstances where access may be denied under the ‘Privacy Act’ or other laws. For example, access can be denied when letting a patient see their records would pose a serious threat to the patient’s life or health, or the life or health of someone else (such as a relative, the health service provider, staff or other patients).
The threat must be significant, for example where there is a serious risk the patient may cause self-harm or harm to another person if they saw the information. The threat can be a risk of danger to physical or mental health, but does not need to be imminent – it can be a serious threat that might occur sometime after access is granted.
Can I transfer my medical records to a new medical practitioner?
You have the right to attend a medical practitioner of your choice and are free to leave a practice and attend another if they wish.
How do I arrange this?
There is a professional obligation for a medical practitioner to provide a new treating medical practitioner with all of the information that they need to take over a patient’s care.
This is usually done by the patient completing a ‘transfer of file’ form and producing an original source of identification for the receptionist to make a copy of.
When a patient requests that their health records be transferred to a medical practitioner of their choice, Dr. Mastakov has an obligation to provide a copy or summary of the patient health record in a timely manner to facilitate care of the patient.
For medico-legal reasons, Dr. Mastakov retains the original record and provides the new medical practitioner with a summary or a copy. If a summary of the patient’s health record is provided to the new medical practitioner, a copy of the summary should be kept on file for record purposes.
Can the doctor charge for the handing over of medical records?
Dr. Mastakov may charge a fee for providing a summary, especially if a patient’s medical history is long and/or complex.
All complaints will be dealt with fairly and as quickly as possible.
Further information about an individual’s privacy rights can be obtained from the Australian Information Commissioner’s Office of (OAIC)
1300 363 992 (Enquiries line)
• [email protected]
Disclaimer: All information is kept secure and will not be shared or sold to any third party