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Privacy and access to your records

How to access your personal health information


The basics

You have a right to access your personal health information that is held by any organisation that provides a health service to you (whether it is a public hospital, community health or dental service). 

How to apply

You can request access to your health information from public sector organisations, such as the hospital who treated you under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIP Act). 

Click here for a copy of the application form

When contacting an organisation to request access to your health information, your request must: 

  • be in writing or use the Application for Release of Health Information Form available by clicking on the link  
  • specify how you would like to access the health information (for example, if you want a copy of it or just to look at the information at their office) 
  • If you want someone else to access the information on your behalf you will need to put the name of the person you are authorising to access your health information
  • The health service is entitled to charge a fee for providing access to health information usually $33.00 for a copy of your notes, but can be more if the record is large
  • The organisation must write to you with its decision within 28 calendar days from receiving your request

 

Reasons the health service may decline to provide you access   

  • Providing access would pose a serious threat to the life/health of an individual or place a child at risk. 
  • Providing access would have an unreasonable impact on the privacy of other individuals 
  • The health information relates to existing/ anticipated legal proceedings and you would not be able to access this information through court processes 
  • Providing access would be unlawful; or denying access is required/authorised by another law 
  • The request is a repeated request and has been reasonably declined previously, or the information has already been provided 
  • Providing access would prejudice an investigation of possible unlawful activity or prejudice a law enforcement agency's functions

 

Not happy with the response?

You can either contact the Southern NSW Local Health District Privacy Officer by email on:

SNSWLHD.Privacy@gsahs.health.nsw.gov.au

or contact the NSW Privacy Commissioner if: 

  • you are not happy with the response from the health service provider 
  • you believe the organisation is charging you too much 
  • the organisation does not respond to you within 28 days. 

 

You can contact us with your concerns in writing by email, letter or fax. You have six months to do this from when you become aware of the situation.  

For more information

Contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC):

Freecall:            1800 472 679

Email:                

Website:           www.ipc.nsw.gov.au   


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This web page is managed and authorised by Web Services Development of the NSW Department of Health. Last updated: 5 March, 2012