When this privacy notice applies
This privacy notice applies to Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.
This notice explains how we (the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care) manage personal information to meet our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Privacy Principles (APPs).
When you attend a Medicare Urgent Care Clinic, they collect:
- your name
- your age
- your address
- your Medicare number
- your indigenous status
- information about your health
- information about the services provided to you, such as the type of treatment provided and treatment time.
The clinic supplies some information to us about your visit. However, this will not include any personal information such as your name, date of birth, address or Medicare number. The de-identified information only includes:
- your health condition
- your treatment and the treatment time
- some characteristics about you, including
- whether you identify as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander
- your ethnicity
- your age
- your postcode.
Why we collect this information
We need this information to evaluate the success of the initiative – are Medicare Urgent Care Clinics:
- providing Australians with access to timely and affordable healthcare services, especially after hours
- helping to reduce demand on hospital emergency departments.
Without this information we cannot:
- evaluate the success of the initiative
- make changes to improve the service
- plan related health services
- undertake important research.
How we collect this information
We collect de-identified information from each Medicare Urgent Care Clinic’s record system. Before it is sent to us, the clinic’s records system removes the following information. Your:
- date of birth
- Medicare number.
This de-identified data is then sent to us using a secure data collection service, provided by a third party we contract.
We only receive this de-identified information where you have consented. You can withdraw consent by telling a clinic to stop sending de-identified information. This does not affect information that has already been sent to us.
How we will use the information
We may use the de-identified information we receive from Medicare Urgent Care Clinics to:
- monitor the impact of the initiative and improve the service
- prepare statistics and reports
- inform and evaluate government policies and programs
- inform service planning
- undertake research and development.
We will ensure that you cannot be individually identified in any research findings, reports or other outputs created. We will comply with the Privacy Act 1988 regarding use of information we receive from Medicare Urgent Care Clinics.
Who we disclose the information to
We may disclose some of the de-identified information to other bodies so they can plan health services and analyse how the health system is working. These bodies include:
- state and territory governments
- Primary Health Networks
- the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The AIHW, and state and territory governments, may combine the de-identified information about you that we disclose to them with other de-identified information about you from other data sources they hold. This is done using unique codes created in the Medicare Urgent Care Clinics – these codes enable data about you from different sources to be combined without individually identifying you. They can only do this if permitted under all application privacy and other laws.
Find out more about how these bodies handle information by visiting their websites.
How we store your information
Any de-identified information we, and other bodies, hold will be stored on our secure systems on servers located in Australia. We store this information separately to other ICT systems that hold Medicare data.
How you can access or correct your information
As the information we collect is de-identified, you will not be able to access or correct any information that relates to you.
Concerns and complaints
- the Australian Privacy Principles
- the Australian Government Agencies Privacy Code.