My health information
Many people consider their health information to be highly sensitive. For this reason, the Privacy Act offers additional protections around your health information. For example, a health service provider generally needs your consent before they can collect your health information.
What are health service providers?
All organisations that provide a health service are covered by the Privacy Act (whether or not they are a small business). Organisations which provide a health service include:
- traditional health service providers such as private hospitals and day surgeries, doctors and specialists
- allied health professionals such as psychologists
- complementary therapists like naturopaths and chiropractors
- in some cases, other services like gyms, weight loss clinics, child care and schools (if they provide a health service and hold health information).
State and Northern Territory public hospitals and health services are not covered by the Privacy Act, but may be covered by relevant state or territory legislation. Visit State and territory privacy laws for more information. Public health service providers in the ACT are covered by the Information Privacy Principles in the Privacy Act. See Government for more information. However, the Office can investigate complaints about the handling of healthcare identifiers by state and territory authorities.
What is health information?
Your health information includes any information collected about your health or disability, and any information collected in relation to a health service you have received. It includes such things as:
- notes of your symptoms or diagnosis and the treatment given to you
- your specialist reports and test results
- your appointment and billing details
- your prescriptions and other pharmaceutical purchases
- your dental records
- your genetic information
- your healthcare identifier when it is collected by a health service provider
- any other information about your race, sexuality or religion, when collected by a health service provider.
Other places to go
- Check out our consumers' guide to privacy and health information: My Health My Privacy My Choice
- Take a look at our frequently asked questions for health. We answer questions on issues such as:
- access to health information
- fees for access
- correcting health information
- general handling of health information
- use of the Medicare number.
- You may also find our health information sheets and our information on your healthcare identifier useful.