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.

What is a health record?

A health record is a collection of clinical information pertaining to a patient’s physical and mental health, compiled from different sources. Health records contain demographic data, next of kin, GP details, and most of the following:

  • medical history; examinations; diagnoses; treatment (including surgical procedures and drug therapy)  results of investigations—labs (e.g. biochemistry, haematology, pathology), imaging (e.g., plain films, scans)  alerts and warnings (e.g., allergies, blood group, obligatory drugs, etc.)
  • record of preventative measures (immunisations, screenings—breast, cervical,
    faecal, occult blood)
  • nursing records
  • clinical correspondence and referrals for treatment  consent forms for surgical procedures
  • theatre reports, discharge letters

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 (eg 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 the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
  3. We may also collect your personal information when you 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 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 APPs and this policy
  • with other healthcare providers
  • when it is required or authorised by law (eg 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 (eg some diseases require mandatory notification)
  • during the course of providing medical services, through My Health Record (eg via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).

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.

Our practice may use your personal information to improve the quality of the services we offer to our patients through research and analysis of our patient data.

We may provide de-identified data to other organisations to improve population health outcomes. The information is secure, patients cannot be identified and the information is stored within Australia. You can let our reception staff know if you do not want your information included.

How do we store and protect your personal information?

Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms, including:

  • electronic records
  • visual records (X-rays, CT scans, photos)

Our practice stores all personal information securely. All personal information is stored in electronic format and is securely encrypted so that it can only be read by medical software. Personal information is protected with a user log in and password for all staff members only. Upon employment, all staff members and contractors sign a confidentiality agreement which applies even if a staff member leaves the practice.

Accessing and Changing Your Personal Information

Our practice acknowledges patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing using our Request to Access Medical Records Form, and our practice will respond within a reasonable time, generally 30 days. A fee of $10 will be charged to transfer your records via USB to either yourself or to another healthcare practitioner you elect to receive your records. 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 for the attention of the Practice Manager.

Complaints Resolution

BDS is committed to providing consumers with a fair and responsive system for handling and resolving complaints. You have a right to complain and to have your complaint handled efficiently. We believe that receiving a complaint provides us with an opportunity to improve the services we deliver to you and maintain your confidence in BDS and our services.

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. You can contact us via phone on 02 49509733 or via email at Please allow 24-48 hours for an acknowledgment of receipt and up to 30 days for a detailed response.

You may also contact us by writing to:

The Practice Manager
Level 1, 58 Orchardtown Road

You may also contact the OAIC.

Generally, the OAIC will require you to give them time to respond before they will investigate.
For further information visit or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992.

Privacy and our website

Personal information may be collected when using the AutoMed Online Booking and prescription request service on our website. This information may be stored by AutoMed for the purpose of future bookings. If any credit card information is entered when using the AutoMed Repeat Prescription service, this may be stored by AutoMed via TYRO for the purpose of future requests if you should choose to do so.

The BDS website uses “cookies” to help you personalise your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a webpage server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. The purpose of a cookie is to tell the web server that you have returned to a specific page. For example, if you personalise BDS page, or register with BDS site or our services, a cookie helps BDS to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information, such as contact addresses, shipping addresses, and so on. When you return to the same BDS website, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the BDS features you have customised.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the BDS services or web sites you visit.

No personal information is collected when you browse anonymously. Anonymous browsing is when personally identifiable information is not required by an individual to gain access to our website. In addition, personally identifiable information such as name and contact details (email addresses) are only collected when you make an enquiry. All other information will be requested from you directly.

Information collected is kept for as long as it is needed to service your account and provide services and products requested by you. When your information is no longer needed for these purposes we will destroy or permanently render anonymous any information held about you.

Please be aware that if you directly disclose personally identifiable information or personally sensitive data through Blackbutt Doctors Surgery (BDS) provided public message boards, this information may be collected and used by others.

BDS encourage you to review the privacy statements of websites you choose to link to from BDS. BDS is not responsible for the privacy statements or other content on websites outside of the BDS websites.

Changes to our Privacy Policy

From time to time it may be necessary for BDS to review and revise its Privacy Policy. BDS reserve the right to change its Privacy Policy at any time, and it may notify you about changes to this Privacy Policy by posting an updated version on the websites or you may request a hard copy from reception or via emailing

Further Information on Privacy

Further information may be obtained on privacy issues in Australia by visiting the Australian Federal Privacy Commissioner’s web site at