Privacy Policy

Department of Health Australian Privacy Policy

Page last updated: 13 February 2018

The Department provides the following Privacy Policy in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988.

Privacy Policy Summary

This Privacy Policy has been developed to follow the ‘layered policy’ format, which means that it offers layers of greater or lesser detail so people can read as much as they wish and find what they need.

PDF version: Long version Privacy Policy (PDF 95 KB)
Word version: Long version Privacy Policy (Word 170 KB)


This summary sets out the key points about how the Department of Health (the Department) complies with the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act). More information can be found in the attached Long version Privacy Policy.

Our obligations under the Privacy Act

The Privacy Act sets out 13 Australian Privacy Principles (APPs) which regulate how we collect, hold, use and disclose your personal information, and how you may access and correct personal information we hold about you. We are legally bound by the APPs.

The Department’s personal information handling practices

Collection of personal information

The Department may collect and hold a variety of personal information about you relating to:

  • employment, work health and safety and personnel matters
  • the performance of the Department’s legislative and administrative functions and activities
  • the management of contracts, funding agreements and procurement processes
  • a range of statutory and non-statutory committees, boards, reference and working groups
  • individuals signed up to distribution and mailing lists
  • the management of fraud and compliance investigations and audits
  • correspondence from members of the public to the Department and Ministers and Assistant Ministers
  • correspondence referred to the Department by other departments, Ministers or Assistant Ministers
  • complaints (including privacy complaints) made and feedback provided to us
  • requests for access to documents held by the Department including requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • the provision of legal advice by internal and external lawyers.

Further information about the Department can be found on the Department’s website.
Personal information may be collected directly by us or by people or organisations acting on our behalf, for example, contracted service providers. We may also obtain personal information about you that is collected by other Australian Government agencies or other bodies.
In most cases, we will collect personal information about you directly from you. However, in some cases, we will collect personal information about you from your representative or a third party.
We will collect your personal information through various means, including:

  • paper‑based and electronic forms
  • face to face meetings
  • telephone
  • email and facsimile communications
  • department websites (including online portals)
  • social media websites and accounts
  • unsolicited personal information.

The Department will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information it collects about you is accurate, up-to-date, complete, relevant and not misleading.

Purposes for which personal information is collected, used and disclosed

The purpose for which the Department collects your personal information will vary depending on the function or activity that we are undertaking. The purpose of collection is important as it restricts how we can use and disclose your personal information, unless an exception in the Privacy Act applies.
The Department will:

  • only use or disclose your personal information for the purpose for which it was collected, unless an exception applies; and
  • in most circumstances, notify you of this purpose at the time of collection, or as soon as practicable after collection.

Your personal information, will where relevant be handled in accordance with the Privacy Guidelines for the Medicare Benefits and Pharmaceutical Benefits Programs Issued by the Privacy Commissioner under section 135AA of the National Health Act 1953 (Cth).

Access and correction

You have a right under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and the Privacy Act to request access to your personal information and to request correction of your personal information if it is out of date, incomplete, irrelevant or misleading.
More information about how you can seek access and correction of your personal information can be found in the attached Long version Privacy Policy.


You can make a complaint if you believe we have breached the APPs or mishandled your personal information.
In the first instance, any privacy concerns or complaints should be reported to the Department. This can be done using the contact details set out at the end of this document.
If you are not happy with the Department’s response, you can complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC). Please note that the OAIC generally requires that a complaint first be raised with the Department before the OAIC will investigate.
The Australian Information Commissioner’s details are:

Means of contact

Contact details


1300 363 992



Australian Information Commissioner
GPO Box 5218
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
Sydney NSW 2001

More information about the complaints process can be found in the attached Long Version Privacy Policy.

How to contact us

We can be contacted by the following means:


(02) 6289 1555 or freecall 1800 020 103


See the online enquires form on the Department website.



Department of Health
GPO Box 9848


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