Privacy & Confidentiality

Bass Coast Health maintains a confidential record of your health information.  Access to this information is restricted to healthcare professionals who are directly involved in your treatment and Health Information staff.  Your medical record remains the property of Bass Coast Health.

Why Do We Collect Your Health Information

Information about your health is recorded in your medical record for the purposes of planning your care and treatment.  The medical record contains your name, address, contact details and other information such as the problem for which you seek treatment and the treatment and advice you were given.  This information is collected and updated by healthcare professionals every time you seek treatment.

To safeguard your own health we ask that you provide us with accurate and complete information.  Withholding relevant information may put your health at risk.

What Happens To Your Health Information?

Information about your health is recorded in a paper medical record, which is confidentially maintained and securely stored.  Information is also stored on our computer system.  This means that information about you is available in paper file and electronically, to the healthcare professionals at Bass Coast Health that are involved in your care.  This allows the involved healthcare staff fast and accurate access to your health information.

In an emergency situation we will release personal information about you to facilitate your care in accordance with the guidelines of the Health Services Commissioner.

In non-emergency situations, a consent form to share your personal information with other agencies involved in your ongoing care is required.

When you go home from hospital we will send a Discharge Summary to your local doctor if you agreed to this on admission.  This summarises your stay in hospital, your medication and any special instructions we need your doctor to know.  If you do not wish this information to be sent to your doctor please let your nurse know as soon as possible.  We may also share information relevant to your ongoing care with community groups that are providing you with support.  These may include Meals on Wheels, District Nursing, your nominated community pharmacy and other support services.

In some circumstances, Bass Coast Health is obligated by law to release personal information about you.  For example, we report notifiable diseases to the Department of Health and Human Services and all cancers to the Anti-Cancer Council of Australia.  De-identified data is sent to the Department of Health and Human Services, as a requirement of all public hospitals.

Information is only made available for research projects, which have been approved by an Ethics Committee.  Individuals who carry out research must follow strict guidelines and maintain confidentiality of the information that they access.

No personal, identifiable information apart from that described will leave the Health Service without prior consent.

How Do We Protect Your Health Information?

Everyone working at Bass Coast Health has a legal duty to keep information about you confidential.  We only pass on information about you if authorised by you or by law.  Whenever possible, details which identify you are removed.  Any person or organisation that receives information from us has a legal duty to keep it confidential.  The Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) came into effect in July 2002 and Bass Coast Health has processes in place to meet all requirements of this Act.  Information relating to this Act and more general privacy considerations can be found at http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/privacy-statement.

How Can You Access Your Health Information?

Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982 and the Health Records Act 2001, you have, in most circumstances, the right to access your medical record and personal information.

  • You will need to complete an application form
  • Fees will apply
  • If there is information in your record which is incorrect or you do not agree with it, you have the right to ask us to correct it.

For further information please click the following links.

Freedom of Information Request Form

Freedom of Information Statement II.

Who Do I Contact?

Enquiries relating to Freedom of Information should be directed to the:

Freedom of Information Officer
Bass Coast Health
PO Box 120, Wonthaggi, Vic 3995
t: (03) 5671 3333