What Is A Privacy Policy?

A Privacy Policy is a document that discloses the way your business handles personal information to each person that you collect personal information from. 

A Privacy Policy sets out what personal information you collect, and how that information will be used by you and/or disclosed to third parties. 

Whether you’re a health service provider or not, whenever you collect sensitive and health information, there are additional regulations that apply — meaning you may need a Health Service Provider Privacy Policy

Our Health Service Provider Privacy Policies are consistent with the Australian Privacy Principles.

Do I Need A Privacy Policy?

Privacy Policies are generally only required, under the Privacy Act, for online businesses with an annual turnover of more than $3 million that collect personal information. 

However, there are a range of exceptions — including for health information, very sensitive information, or businesses that buy or sell personal information. 

Whether you are a health service provider or not, if you hold health information, you are considered to be a health service provider under the Privacy Act. 

Health information is generally regarded as one of the most sensitive types of personal information. It could include information such as: 

  • Notes relating to any symptoms a patient may have
  • Any information on a person’s diagnosis or health services they will receive 
  • Test results or specialist reports 
  • Prescriptions and other medication 
  • General personal information collected by a health service provider

You can find more details on what constitutes health information here

Health information is one of the exceptions in the Privacy Act for which you’ll need to get consent before collecting it.

Further, it is important to note that while our Health Service Provider Privacy Policies are consistent with the Australian Privacy Principles, there may be state-based regulations that apply to your business specifically —but don’t sweat! We can help you out there, too. 

How Do I Use A Privacy Policy?

Your Privacy Policy can be attached to your Terms and Conditions. 

For example, you may have a check box for users to select ‘I agree’ to your Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. 

It is also good practice to put a link to your Privacy Policy in your website footer so it is easily accessible. 

Privacy Policy (Health Service Provider) Example 

Raj is starting a telehealth physiotherapy practice, where his clinic will provide online video consultations, rather than face-to-face ones. 

For their initial screening and consultation, patients will be asked a series of questions when creating a user account or booking in an appointment time. 

These questions include details about the patient’s prior medical history, any symptoms they have and what medication they’re currently taking. 

Regardless of whether or not the patient goes ahead with the consultation, or the clinician recommends the patient needs a face-to-face consultation, Raj’s website is required to have a Health Service Provider Privacy Policy. 

This is because he is collecting sensitive information — regardless of whether the patient ends up using his services or not. 

Need Help With A Privacy Policy?

Putting together a Privacy Policy can seem like a daunting process, as it’s hard to know what to include and how to word it. 

It is a good idea to get a lawyer to assist you with this process, as it is a one-off cost that can save you from disputes in the long run. 

At Sprintlaw, we have a variety of experienced lawyers who can assist you with drafting or reviewing your Health Service Provider Privacy Policy. 

Whether you have questions as to whether you need one or not, or drafting one up, we’re happy to help! 

Get in touch with us at team@sprintlaw.com.au or give us a call at 1800 730 617.

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