Information for patients

If you are diagnosed with an occupational respiratory disease, your physician may report your information to the registry. Find out when your physician must report to the registry and what information you need to provide.

About occupational respiratory diseases

Occupational respiratory diseases are work-related conditions which affect the system that help you breathe. This includes your airways, lungs and blood vessels.

Industries and workplaces at particular risk include: 

  • building and construction
  • mining and quarrying.

Getting diagnosed

If you think you have an occupational respiratory disease, please see your general practitioner for a medical assessment. They will ask about your work history and examine your symptoms. 

To receive a diagnosis, your general practitioner may refer to you a physician who specialises in:

  • respiratory and sleep medicine 
  • occupational and environmental medicine.

When your physician will report to the registry

If you are diagnosed with a prescribed occupational respiratory disease on or after 22 May 2024, you must give certain information to your physician. Your physician will then report this information to the National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry.

Only occupational and environmental medicine and respiratory and sleep medicine physicians can give your information to the registry.

What information you must provide

If you are diagnosed with a prescribed occupational respiratory disease, you must provide information about your: 

  • identity
  • contact details
  • occupational respiratory disease
  • exposure that caused or exacerbated the disease.

Your physician will also ask for your consent to give additional information to the registry. This will include your:

  • demographic and lifestyle information
  • relevant medical test results
  • occupational history of exposure.

This information will help to eliminate preventable occupational respiratory diseases by supporting earlier detection, intervention and prevention activities.

You can also choose to provide information to the registry if you are diagnosed with an occupational respiratory disease that is otherwise not required to be reported to the registry.

Your privacy

Under the Privacy Act 1988 (including the Australian Privacy Principles) and the National Occupational Respiratory Disease Registry Act 2023we must take reasonable steps to protect your personal information. We will securely store all personal information that you give to us.

To learn more, see our Privacy Policy.

To learn more about how your information is handled see the patient privacy and consent statement.

If you wish to complain about the handling of your personal information, you can contact the department via:

Who will we share your information with

We will share required information with relevant state and territory government authorities. We do this to support finding industries, occupations, job tasks and workplaces where there is a risk of occupational respiratory disease. This will allow action to prevent further worker exposure.

We may share your information to support research about occupational respiratory diseases.  We will protect your personal information, including by assessing applications for research individually.  However, researchers will not have access to information that identifies your workplace or physician. 

We do not provide any additional information you supply, which includes:

  • your medical test results
  • your occupational history of exposure
  • your extra demographic and lifestyle information.

We do not share information with your employer.

To learn more about how your information is shared see the patient privacy and consent statement.

Updating your consent

If you provided consent to give additional information to the registry, you can later withdraw or update your consent at any time. To change your consent, you can ask your treating physician to update the registry, or you can contact the registry directly.

More information

To learn more about, see the Lung Foundation website.

Date last updated:

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