Privacy Policy

The Victorian Hand Surgery Associates recognise our responsibilities under the Victorian Health Records Act 2001 and the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 and take all reasonable steps to comply with the legislation and protect the privacy of the personal information held.

Collection of Information:

The VHSA collect and hold personal health information about each individual patient so that we may properly assess, manage and be proactive in your health care needs.
All members of the professional team involved in your care will have access to your personal information as required.
This means we may use and disclose the information that you provide in the following ways:
– Disclosure to others involved in your health care, including treating doctors, pathology services, radiology services and other specialists outside this medical practice. Information may be exchanged as part of this referral process and in the reports or results returned to us.
– Administration of our practice including disclosure to our insurer/s or medical indemnity provider/s, and for quality assurance and accreditation bodies.
– For billing purposes, including providing information to your health insurance fund, the Health Insurance Commission (Medicare) and other organizations that may be
responsible for the financial aspect of your care.
– For research and quality assurance activities to improve individual health care. Usually information that does not identify you is used but should information that will identify you be required you will be informed and given the opportunity to “opt out” of any involvement.
– Conducting research into treatment outcomes.
– Assisting with training and education of other health professionals In most cases we will obtain the information directly from you or your treating doctors.

Quality of Information:

The VHSA goal is to ensure that the information maintained is accurate, complete and current. To assist us with this, please contact us if any of the details you have provided change or are inaccurate.


VHSA will take all reasonable steps to protect the security of the personal information that we hold. This includes appropriate measures to protect electronic data and archives.

Access to your personal information:

Access will be provided in accordance with our policy. If you require access to your personal information, a written request must be completed and lodged with your Consultant or a member of our staff.


VHSA does not contract our data storage or processing functions.

Treatment of Children:

The rights of children to the privacy of their health information, based on the professional judgement of the doctor and consistent with law, might restrict access to the child’s information by parents or guardians.

What happens if you choose not to provide information?

You are not obliged to provide us with your personal information, however, without full disclosure of details of the history of the current or past conditions, results of
past investigations or family history, the treatment you receive may be compromised.


If you have a complaint about our privacy practices or wish to make a complaint about how your personal information is managed please contact your Consultant or our staff. All complaints will be dealt with fairly and as quickly as possible.

A privacy complaint relates to any concern or dispute that you have with our privacy practices as it relates to your personal information. This could include matters such as how personal information is collected, stored, used, disclosed or how access is provided. We prefer that your complaint is in writing.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of our handling of your complaint you may contact the Victorian Health Services Commissioner or the Federal Privacy Commissioner.

Access Policy:

The purpose of this policy is to set out how your Consultant will provide access to your personal information. The policy is part of our privacy policy and our desire to provide for, maintain and give effect to your right to privacy.
Principles of our Access Policy:
At all times the conduct under this policy will be governed by the following principles:

All requests for access will be treated seriously
All requests will be dealt with promptly
All requests will be dealt with in a confidential manner

Form of access:

Your consultant will provide access by allowing you to inspect, take notes of or
receive copies or printouts of the personal information that your consultant holds
about you. Please make your request in writing. To obtain access you will be asked
to provide proof of your identity. This is necessary to ensure that personal information
is provided only to the individual concerned and that the privacy of others is
not undermined.

When will access be denied?

Access will be denied if:
– The request does not relate to the personal information of the person making the
– Providing access would pose a serious and imminent threat to life or health of a
– Providing access would create an unreasonable impact on the privacy of others
– The request is frivolous and vexatious
– The request relates to legal proceedings between your Consultant and yourself
– Providing access would prejudice negotiations with the individual making the request
– Access would be unlawful
– Denial of access is authorized or required by law
– Access would prejudice law enforcement activities
– Access discloses a ‘commercially sensitive’ decision making process or information
– Any other reason that is provided for in the Health Privacy Principles (HPP’s) set
out in the Victorian Health Records Act and the National Privacy Principles (NPP’s)
set out under the Commonwealth Privacy Act
Where possible, the consultants of VHSA favour providing access. Access may be provided
to appropriate parts of rather than the whole record.


We will take all reasonable steps to provide access within 45 days of your request.

Costs and Charges:

The VHSA will, where possible, impose the charges in accordance with the Victorian Health Records Act and the Health Records Regulations.

Additional Information:

Prior to a patient signing consent to the release of their health information patients are made aware they can request a full copy of our privacy policy.

Patient consent for the transfer of health information to other providers or agencies is obtained on the first visit.

Once signed, this form is scanned into the patient’s record and its completion noted. Note: Consent for transfer of information differs from procedural consent.