Privacy policy

Main Road Medical Centre – Privacy Policy

Current as of: 15.01.2023


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.


A clinical record or health record is a collection of data and information gathered or generated to record the clinical care and health status of an individual or group. Health records are made up of documents such as health record forms, clinical documents and clinical referral letters received from clinical providers.


The primary purpose of a clinical health record is to hold the information about a patient that is required for effective care: good patient information supports appropriate clinical decisions.


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 (e.g. staff training).


What personal information do we collect?

The information we will collect about you includes your:

  • names, date of birth, address/es, contact details
  • medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
  • any care you may need
  • 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.


Your medical records

This practice takes steps to ensure that your medical records:

  • are accurate, complete, well-organised and legible
  • are up-to-date
  • contain enough information to allow another GP to care for you
  • contain a summary of your care
  • can be used to remind you, with your permission, to return for follow up, check-ups and reviews.


If you are uncertain why information is being requested, please ask your GP or the practice staff.


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. Information can also be collected through electronic transfer of prescriptions (eTP), My Health Record, e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary.
  4. We may also collect your personal information when you send us an email or SMS, telephone us or make an online appointment. We do not communicate via social media.
  5. 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?

– to other GPs

In this practice, it is normal for all GPs to have access to your medical records. If you have any concerns about this please discuss them with your GP or practice staff.


– to other people involved in your care

It is important that other people involved in your care, such as medical specialists and other healthcare professionals, are informed of the relevant parts of your medical history, so they can provide the best care for you. Your GP will let you know when this is necessary.


– to others

Our GPs respect your right to decide how your personal information is used or shared. Personal information that identifies you will only be sent to other people with your consent, unless there are exceptional circumstances. Gaining your consent is the guiding principle used by this practice in using and sharing your 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 (Australian Privacy Principles) and this policy.
  • with other healthcare providers.
  • when it is required or authorised by law (e.g. 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 (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification).
  • during the course of providing medical services, through eTP, My Health Record (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).

Our medical software has document automation technology that can identify personal data, such as a patient’s name and address, and input it directly into smart fields within a document template. At all times we aim to safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of patient health information in accordance with the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) contained in the Privacy Act 1988, and long-standing legal and ethical confidentiality obligations.


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. Almost all of the information is stored electronically, although some is stored as paper records.


Our practice stores all personal information securely. All electronic records are password protected, securely protected by electronic firewalls and monitored. All paper records are stored in a locked filing cabinet within the surgery.


There is always one member of staff on duty at reception when the surgery is open. The surgery, arcade and carpark are protected by closed circuit television at all times. When the surgery is closed, it is locked and protected by back to base alarms. Most frequently the arcade outside the surgery is locked as well.


Access to patient health information and other sensitive documents is by authorised personnel only. All staff and contractors are required to sign confidentiality agreements.


How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?

You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information.


However, if you request access to your medical record, your GP will need to consider if there may be a risk of physical or mental harm to you or any other person that may result from disclosure of your health information. Your GP may need to remove any information that will affect the privacy of other individuals.


Sharing information is important for good communication between you and practice staff. Your GP is able to provide a full explanation of the health summary or medical record you are provided access to.


Depending on what is involved, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of providing the information.


We require you to put any requests in writing, either by e-mail or letter, and our practice will respond within a reasonable time. We aim to respond within 30 days.


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 the practice.


How can you lodge a privacy-related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?

If you have any concerns regarding the privacy of your personal health information or the accuracy of the information held by the practice, you should discuss these with practice staff. Inaccurate information can be corrected or your concerns noted in your record. For legal reasons, the original notes will be retained.


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.


Our contact details are

Main Road Medical Centre

300A Main Road


Phone: 02 4956 6700

Fax: 02 4954 3413



Once we receive your complaint, we will acknowledge it in writing and gather the facts of the case. We may suggest a meeting to discuss your concerns. If there will be delays in our availability or while we seek out facts, we will notify you of these. Once the complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction, we will notify you of any follow up that has been agreed on. We will aim to achieve turnaround of your complaint within 30 days.


You may also contact the OAIC (Office of the Australian Information Commissioner). 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.


Alternatively, you may contact the NSW Privacy Commissioner (within six months of becoming aware of the issue). You cannot make a complaint to both.


Policy review statement

This privacy policy will be reviewed at least annually to ensure it is in accordance with any changes that may occur. You can see any changes on our website – – or request an updated version of this Privacy Policy at any time.