This factsheet explains healthcare confidentiality for young people (aged 12-24) and where young people can get more information about confidentiality.
The We keep it zipped factsheet covers:
This factsheet is for young people aged 12-24. Everyone who works for NSW Health has to respect your privacy. This factsheet tells you only about how things work in the health service. It does not cover other organisations like your school or social services (for example housing services, Centrelink or law courts etc).
Personal health information is information that identifies you. It can include things like your name, address, and date of birth. This can then be linked to information such as your care and treatment history or results of tests. It may also include information about relationships, pregnancy, contraception, sex, drugs, alcohol, or feeling anxious or depressed.
This information may be kept in paper or electronic medical records. NSW Health has strict rules and policies about storing personal information securely.
NSW Health uses your personal health information to make sure you receive the care and treatment you need. This could mean sharing information with others who work in your health service (for example the person who sends you a reminder to attend an appointment) or those outside of the NSW Health service, for example your doctor (GP).
Your health information will not be shared with your employer, or a staff member from a different type of service (such as your school, or an accommodation or welfare service) without first asking for your permission.
There are specific situations where others need to know about your health and your information may be shared without first asking you. For example:
If any of these situations happen, the doctor or health worker would have to make sure that you are safe.
Generally, if you are 14 years or over, your parents or guardian cannot see your health records, unless you agree to this.
Your health information will only be shared with a parent, guardian, other family members, friends, or partner if you tell the doctor or health worker that they are your carer or person to contact, or you provide your permission in another way.
If you are under 14, your health information may be shared with your parents or guardian without asking you first. If you are under 14 and do not want your parents or guardian to see your health records or know about your health, you need to first tell the doctor or health worker.
Then, the doctor or health worker decides whether to limit or stop your parents or guardian from having access to your record depending on some factors. This includes whether you are mature enough to understand your health problems and the treatment options. It also includes the reasons for your request to stop your parents or guardian seeing your health record or knowing about your health. You can discuss this with the doctor or health worker.
Other reasons the doctor or health worker may share your information include:
If you are concerned about your information being shared, please let your doctor or health worker know. They will discuss with you the impact this may have on your health care.
Young people are able to see a NSW Health doctor or health worker confidentially and make decisions about their health if the doctor or health worker thinks they are mature enough to fully understand their health problems and the treatment options. There is no fixed age for this, but it is usually about 14 years of age.
Often the doctor or health worker will encourage you to involve your parents or guardian in decisions about your health to provide you with additional help and support if you choose.
Yes, you may apply to access your health record held by health services in NSW.
For more information on accessing your health record, see:
If you think that information in your health record is wrong or incomplete, you can request a doctor or health worker to correct it.
You have the right to:
Health services look after many people and are often very busy places. You can help us by being respectful to the doctors, health workers and other patients. Please let a doctor or health worker know if:
My Health Record is the Australian Government's digital health system. It keeps all of your health information in one place and you can see it from any computer or device connected to the internet. All Australians have a My Health Record, unless you choose not to have one.
If you have attended a NSW Health service, a summary of your health information will be sent to your My Health Record. NSW Health workers may also view and send information to your My Health Record.
If you are under 14, your parents or guardians manage your record for you. They can look at your record and see health information about you uploaded by your doctor, health worker and Medicare. They can also see your medical tests and medicines, add and remove information, and set extra privacy controls in your record.
When you turn 14, your parents or guardian will no longer have access to your My Health Record, unless you invite them. This means you have privacy and control over who can see your health information. If you decide you want help from a parent or guardian,
you can invite them to access your record as a nominated representative.
If you have a My Health Record, and if you are worried about a particular medical document being uploaded to your record that your parents or guardian might see or for any other reason, let your doctor or health worker know. Tell the doctor or health worker at the beginning of your visit that you do not want those documents uploaded to your My Health Record.
For further information about
My Health Record, telephone 1800 723 471, or go to
My Health record for teens; Manage your own record from age 14 (My Health Record).
If you have any questions about the information in this factsheet, please speak to a doctor or health worker.
If you believe a NSW Health doctor or health worker is not doing the right thing, talk with the doctor or health worker. If you think a doctor or health worker has not respected your privacy, you can make a privacy complaint. If you do not feel comfortable talking to the doctor or health worker, but you still want to do something, ask to speak to their manager or a NSW Health Privacy Contact Officer. You can do this face-to-face, via telephone, or in writing, if it is easier.
Of course, you may also want to tell a manager or a health worker if you believe that they have done a good job.
If you are not happy with the outcome, you can raise your concerns with the:
Phone: (02) 9219 7444Toll free: 1800 043 159 Free from all NSW landline phones - charges may apply from a mobile phoneEmail:
Health Care Complaints CommissionOr
lodge your complaint online
email@example.com Phone: 1800 472 679 Web:
NSW Information and Privacy Commission