For further information, refer to the NSW Information Privacy Leaflet for Patients.
This leaflet provides a summary of what personal information is held about you, how you can access this information and the purposes for which your personal information is used and shown.
Your personal information includes your personal details and personal health information relating to your treatment/care.
Collecting personal information
We collect your personal information so we can provide you with treatment and advice.
To do this, we may collect:
- test results and further information while you are being treated and kept with your health record.
- relevant and necessary information for your treatment, and to manage the health services we provide.
- information directly from you, wherever possible; this may include information from other health professionals who have treated you.
- information in the case of an emergency from a family member, friend, carer or other person who can help us provide you with the best care.
Storing and protecting information
Your information may be held in paper or electronic files, including visual image and audio formats. We are required by law to keep health records for certain periods of time, depending on the type of record and facility.
We take all reasonable steps to ensure the information we collect about you is stored securely. Appropriate systems and policies are in place to protect your information from loss, unauthorised access and misuse.
If you do not wish for us to collect certain information about you, you need to tell us, and we will discuss with you any consequences this may have for your health care.
Accessing your information
Your personal information is protected by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act).
The Health Records Information and Privacy Act 2022 (HRIP Act) protects a specific type of personal information – referred to as personal health information – including information about your physical or mental health, disability, provision of health services or genetic information.
You have the right to request access (subject to some limited exceptions) to all personal information including your own health records. You can apply for access to your personal information under the PPIP Act, Information Protection Principle 7.
For further information, refer to the NSW Health Privacy leaflet.
You can ask for any kind of personal information relating to you, which is contained in your health record and created by the health service agency you are requesting it from.
You also have the right to view your health information, which can be organised by contacting the relevant facility. A health care provider or health information manager must be present for this viewing.
This information can include emergency, outpatient and inpatient notes, pathology results and medical imaging reports, the health service agency correspondence, medication sheets and discharge summaries.
When access to information can be declined:
Access to your personal health information may be declined in special circumstances, such as where giving you access would put you or another person at risk of harm.
Access may also be declined if parts of your health record have information which, by law, cannot be given to you, such as information about another person.
You can request your information by completing a release of information form and sending it to the Health Information Department at your hospital.
You will be asked to provide your full name, any aliases, your address, date of birth, and details of the information you need with dates where possible.
If you have any further queries or need help with completing the request form, please contact the Health Information Department at your hospital, you will be referred to the Health Information Manager for help.
Health information is confidential and great care is taken by a health service agency to ensure proper identification procedures are followed.
You will need to provide at least 2 forms of identification using photograph identification (photo ID) wherever possible.
Acceptable forms of identification include:
- a valid passport
- driver's license
- Medicare card
- birth certificate
- a health care card, if you are seeking a discount.
If you are verifying your identity via mail, photocopy two forms of photo identification and have these verified by a Justice of the Peace as true copies of the originals.
Mail the verified copies along with your request form to:
Murrumbidgee Local Health District
Locked Mail Bag 10
If you are a parent requesting health information about your child:
- you will need to show proof that you are in fact the child's parent by showing us an original birth certificate; or
- you will need to mail us an authenticated/verified copy of the birth certificate, if requesting information by mail.
If you are a separated parent:
- you will need to show us the child's birth certificate and evidence that you are the child's parent.
- each parent has authority to request the child's health information, unless the Family Court has specifically removed that right from you.
If the child is aged over 14 years, it is necessary to have authority from the child as well as yourself.
If the child is aged over 16 years, it is necessary for the child to request for release of information from their record.
A standard fee of $33 (incl. GST) applies for a maximum of 80 pages* and is payable with your request application.
You can pay in person at the cashier's office (where credit card and EFTPOS facilities are available). If/when posting us your request application, you can include a money order, cheque or your credit card details.
* Health records over 80 pages will cost 40 cents per page (incl. GST). There is no discount on this service.
Depending on the format of the information you ask for, we can provide it:
- as a photocopy or print out.
- saved to a disc and post it you.
- to you directly when you visit your hospital in person.
If you have any complaints about the request for information service provided, please contact the Health Information Department at your hospital or by mail to:
Murrumbidgee LHD District Health Information Manager
PO Box 3095
If further action is needed, the process for an official complaint or review of the information request will be explained to you.
Accessing information held by Murrumbidgee LHD (GIPA Act)
Access to information held by all government agencies, including Murrumbidgee LHD, is governed by the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act). Find out more and learn how to submit a GIPA request.
Disclosure and use of information
Murrumbidgee LHD is bound by law and ethical practice to keep your information confidential. We may need to use or show your information for specific reasons or purposes, which is explained in more detail below.
We may use or show your information:
- for purposes directly related to your treatment, and in ways you would reasonably expect for your current and future care.
- to share with your nominated GP, unless you request otherwise.
- for billing and other purposes needed for the operation of the NSW Health Service, including safety and quality improvement initiatives.
- where relevant, to Medicare, private health funds, the Department of Veterans Affairs and/or the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.
- by sharing it with staff involved in your care to decide the best treatment for you and to help in managing the health services provided to you.
- to send it to other treating health services or hospitals involved in your care, including Ambulance Service of NSW, a specialist for a referral, for pathology tests, x-rays, and so on.
- where required, to Courts and Tribunals and to State and Commonwealth government agencies to follow laws on the reporting of notifiable diseases and statistics, and for the registering of births and deaths.
- when your personal information may be needed as evidence in court when subpoenaed.
- to contact you about patient satisfaction surveys to help us evaluate and improve our services.
We may also use or show your information following statutory guidelines —that expand on the Health Privacy Principles (HPPs) within the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIP Act)—for:
- public interest research projects following strict protocols and approved by a Human Research & Ethics Committee
- staff and student training purposes
- other planning, financial or management purposes for health service activities.
The statutory guidelines ensure that where your information is needed for these purposes —and it impractical to seek your consent—a minimum account of personal information is used, and the personal information is handled following strict standards.
We will always seek your consent prior to the use or disclosure of patient information for purposes other than those listed here, such as for fundraising activities.
Learn more by referring to the guide to privacy laws in NSW.
Complaints relating to your privacy
If you have a complaint relating to your privacy and/or believe a health service provider has breached your privacy by breaking an Information Protection Principle or Health Privacy Principle, you can request Murrumbidgee LHD to carry out an internal review.
Request an internal review using the privacy forms on the NSW Information and Privacy Commission (NSW IPC) website.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you may lodge an appeal with the Administrative Decisions Tribunal to further investigate your complaint.
For further information:
- call the Murrumbidgee LHD Privacy Contact Officer (PCO) at 0475 807 787
- write to the Murrumbidgee LHD PCO at:
Murrumbidgee Local Health District
Locked Mail Bag 10
- call the NSW Privacy Commissioner at 1800 472 679 between 9am - 5pm from Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) or go to the NSW IPC website.
Important privacy resources
Information and resources relating to Murrumbidgee LHD and NSW Health’s compliance with privacy laws.
- Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002
- Statutory Guidelines pursuant to the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002
- Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998