Client Consent to Collect & Disclose Information
Hobart Counselling Centre is committed to providing you with the highest levels of confidentiality and service. This includes protecting your privacy. Recent amendments to the Privacy Act require health practitioners in private practice to obtain consent from their clients to collect, use and disclose clients’ personal information.
This means your Hobart Counselling Centre practitioner will collect information that is necessary to properly advise and treat you. Such necessary information may include:
- Full personal history
- Family history
- Contact details
- Billing account details
This information will normally be collected directly from you. There may be occasions when your practitioner will need to obtain information from other sources, for example:
- Your general practitioner, psychiatrist, or medical specialist
- Other health care providers, such as a former psychologist or counsellor, or practitioners treating other family members
- Your lawyer
- Hospitals or clinics
No contact with other professionals will be made without prior discussion with you resulting in your verbal consent. In emergency situations it may be necessary for your practitioner to collect personal information from relatives or other sources where it is not possible to obtain your prior express consent.
Use & Disclosure
With your consent, your practitioner will use and disclose your information, only as required, for purposes such as:
- Account keeping and billing purpose
- Referral to a medical practitioner, other health care provider, hospital or clinic
- To meet obligations of notification to motor vehicle accident insurers, workers’ compensation insurers, health funds, or professional indemnity insurers
- Complaint handling
- Where legally required to do so, such as producing records to court
- To prevent or lessen a serious threat to an individual’s life, health, or safety
You are entitled to access your own records at any time convenient to both yourself and your practitioner. Access can be denied where:
- To provide access would create a serious threat to life, health or safety
- The access would unreasonably impact on the privacy of another
- Your request is frivolous or
- There is a legal impediment to access, or you are not entitled to access information relating to anticipated or actual legal proceedings.
It is asked that, where possible, your request be in writing. A charge may be imposed for photocopying and time involved in processing your request. Where you dispute the accuracy of the information that has been recorded, you are entitled to correct that information. It is Centre policy that all steps will be taken to record all of your corrections and place them with your file but not to erase the original record.
In summary, any personal details collected about you will be done so in confidence. The information will be stored securely and available for your inspection on request. The information will not be disclosed to a third party without your permission. You are required to give verbal consent regarding these privacy conditions to your practitioner prior to the commencement of treatment.