Privacy Policy & Disclaimer

Privacy Policy

Current as of: 24 July 2022

Introduction

This privacy policy is to provide information to you, our patient, on how your personal information (which includes your health information) is collected and used within our practice, and the circumstances in which we may share it with third parties.

Why and when your consent is necessary

When you register as a patient of our practice, you provide consent for our GPs and practice staff to access and use your personal information, so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it. If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this.

Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information?

Our practice will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes (e.g. staff training).

What personal information do we collect?

  • The information we will collect about you includes your:
  • names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
  • medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
  • Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
  • healthcare identifiers
  • health fund details.

Dealing with us anonymously

You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.

How do we collect your personal information?

Our practice may collect your personal information in several different ways.

  1. When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
  2. During providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
  4. In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly. This may include information from:
  • your guardian or responsible person
  • other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services
  • your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (as necessary).

When, why and with whom do we share your personal information?

We sometimes share your personal information:

  • with other healthcare providers as needed in the course of your medical care via paper records or electronically such as email, fax and SMS
  • when it is required or authorised by law (e.g. court subpoenas)
  • when it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
  • to assist in locating a missing person
  • to establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
  • for the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
  • when there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification)
  • during the course of providing medical services, through electronic prescriptions, My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary)
  • with third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with Australian Privacy Principles (APP) and this policy.

Only people who need to access your 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 will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. We are a friend of the environment and operate paper-less. Reports and forms received for you, and from you, are scanned to the system and updated on your medical file electronically.

Our practice stores all personal information securely. Each staff member has password protected access to our clinical information system which houses your health record and permission to access is set as appropriate for their role in the practice

We do not hold your paper records and we only store them electronically. Once scanned to the system your paper records are shredded to protect your privacy and security.

How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?

You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.

Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing and our practice will respond within week. A fee between $50-$75 (depending on the number of records to be printed) is chargeable should the patient require paper copies printed, although electronic files are transferred free of charge.

Our practice will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. From time to time, we will ask you to verify that your personal information held by our practice is correct and current. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to the practice manager.

Appointments

We offer face to face appointments as well as walk-in appointments. WCMC extends Telehealth consultation to existing patients only.

Home visits

Home visits are available only for regular patients who lives within 2 km radius and whose conditions prevent them from attending the surgery. This is at the discretion of the doctor and based on their availability.

Fees and billing arrangements

We provide bulk billing services to all patients with a Medicare card.  Private consultations are available for people without a Medicare card, and for people holding adequate insurance coverage. Fees for private consultations are based on the duration of consults, and payable immediately. We request that patients inform us about work cover assessments prior to making an appointment. If there is any out of pocket cost for a particular service you might ask for, you will be notified in advance about the cost of this service. Information on the private billing rates are posted in the practice waiting area, please check with the receptionist.

Communication / telephone policy

Patients can call the practice during working hours and speak to the doctor. If the doctor is busy, messages are taken, and calls returned before end of the day, and immediately in case of an emergency. Voice messages received during work hours will be returned on the same day. After-hours voice messages are received as audio files to our email and addressed based on the urgency.

How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?

We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure. Complaints can be addressed to:

The Practice Manager, We Care Medical Centre, 196 Smith Street, South Penrith NSW 2750, Phone: (02)47082079 and (02)47610541, Fax: (02)91989521 & Email: admin@wecaremedicalcentre.com.au

You may also contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Generally, the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond before they will investigate. For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300363992. Patients are advised to report to Health Care Complaints Commission (NSW) in the event their concerns are not addressed properly by the practice staff at Locked Mail Bag 18, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 Ph: 1800 043 159

Privacy and our website

Please refer Patient registration form, Practice Information Sheet and our website ‘Disclaimer’ page for details on your privacy.

Policy review statement

This privacy policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is in accordance with any changes that may occur. We will report changes to our policy by updating the ‘Privacy’ page of our website.

Disclaimer

  1. No Advice

This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such.

  1. No Warranties

The medical information on this website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. We make no representations or warranties in relation to the medical information on this website. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing paragraph, we do not warrant that:

(a) the medical information on this website will be constantly available, or available at all; or

(b) the medical information on this website is complete, true, accurate, up-to-date, or non-misleading.

(c) the submission of feedback form on this website will be received and acted upon.

  1. Professional Assistance

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

  1. Limiting our liability

Nothing in this medical disclaimer will:

(a) limit or exclude our liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence;

(b) limit or exclude our liability for fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation;

(c) limit any of our liabilities in any way that is not permitted under applicable law; or

(d) exclude any of our liabilities that may not be excluded under applicable law.

  1. Credit

This document was created using an SEQ Legal template.

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