Privacy and Confidentiality

Protection and use of your health information
Bass Coast Health collects personal, health and sensitive information to help us determine the right care and treatment for you. Our staff are bound by strict rules about how your personal and health information can be used. You can ask to see the information we have.

What information is collected and why?
Your information and the information kept on your paper based and electronic files (medical records, community records, resident information) is the basis for planning what treatment and care is likely to be safe and effective for you. During your contact with us, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals will need to collect information about you, your condition and the outcomes of your treatment and care.

While you have the right to refuse to provide ce

rtain information, this may have an impact on our ability to provide appropriate care.

Every time you have contact with us your information is updated to make sure the best possible care and service can be provided. Therefore, we ask that you let a staff member know or contact us when your details change.

Protecting your privacy
We are committed to protecting the confidentiality of your health information.  Both paper-based and electronic information is stored securely.

Bass Coast Health supports, promotes and complies with the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).  The Act contains 11 Health Privacy Principles which are in place to protect personal information.  Information can only be collected, used, stored, disclosed and disposed of according to these principles.

All staff employed by BCH must keep your information confidential and only authorised staff have access to your information.

How is information used?
BCH is required by law to share some information it collects about consumers who receive services funded under the Health Services Agreement.  Personal information is used and disclosed for the primary purpose for which it was collected and for the safety and wellb

eing of consumers to fulfil legislative obligations as a health service provider. 

Your information is used by health professionals involved in your care and treatment. There are also other activities that require the use of your information. For example:

  • Notifying your local doctor (nominated by you) about your admission or contact with us. If you do not want information sent to your doctor, please let a staff member know as soon as possible
  • Providing information to another hospital, health care facility or residential facility if you are transferred to ensure that you are treated safely and effectively
  • Providing information to community health providers for continuation of care upon your discharge
  • Sharing current and previously collected information relating to family violence risk and the wellbeing or safety of children to permitted key organisations – to keep people safe and perpetrators of violence in view.
  • Providing information to private health funds, Transport Accident Commission, etc as appropriate
  • Billing or debt recovery, as appropriate
  • Disclosure to liability insurers and lawyers in reporting an adverse event
  • Research: Information is only made available for research projects which have been approved by an Ethics Committee
  • Disclosure to the Health Complaints Commissioner for complaints conciliation and management
  • Training and education: Bass Coast Health participates in the training and education of health professionals. Therefore, medical, nursing and other students who are under the supervision of an experienced member of staff at all times may be part of the team caring for you. If for any reason you would prefer not to have a student involved in your care please inform us
  • Quality improvement (including complaints management) and clinical audit activities that evaluate and seek to improve the delivery of a particular treatment or se
  • rvice
  • Reporting notifiable diseases to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services and to appropriate Government Authorities (such as registration of births, deaths, diseases and treatment). 
  • Disclosing your information to entities responsible for investigating failures in quality and safety such as Safer Care Victoria.  The sharing and using of information are designed to address any quality and safety issues that may have affected you to ensure they inform continuous service improvement
  • We may be legally required to provide information to a court or tribunal.
    Contact after leaving hospital
    Patients may be contacted after their admission for the following purposes:
  • Research or auditing
  • Patient feedback survey

How can I access my information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982 and the Health Records Act 2001 gives you the right to ask for access to your medical record and personal information held by Bass Coast Health. 

  • Contact Health Information Services for an FOI Application form, fees may 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.

Links and references
There are external organisations which assist with health care complaints, including complaints about privacy:
Health Complaints Commission  

   Ph: 1300 582 113

Commissioner of Privacy and Data Protection
   Ph: 1300 666 444

The NDIS Commission  
   Ph: 1800 035 544

If you live in a residential aged service you can approach:
Aged Care Complaints Commissioner:
   Ph: 1800 550 552

Freedom of Information Request
To submit a freedom of information request, complete the following form and send to or post to PO Box 120, Wonthaggi, VIC, 3995

For further information, please click on the following document.