Personal Health Information

Western Sydney Local Health District

Accessing Your Own Personal and Health Information

‘Personal information’ in the GIPA Act is information or opinion about a person who can be identified from that information or opinion.

Your personal information held by WSLHD is protected by the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act (1998). The Health Records Information and Privacy Act (2002) protects a specific type of personal information – referred to as personal health information – including information about your physical or mental health, disability, provision of health services or genetic information.

Further information on privacy principles and protections is available on the WSLHD Information Privacy website.

You are entitled to request access (subject to some limited exceptions) to all personal information including your own health records. For further information refer to the WSLHD Privacy Information for patients/clients leaflet.

You can access your personal information that is held by WSLHD in several ways:  

  • You may apply for access to your health information under the Health Records Information and Privacy Act (2002). WSLHD has procedures for access to health records/information as follows: 
    • Normally you will be asked to apply for access in writing and to provide identification. If you request copies of your personal information or health record you will be charged a fee. 
    • You are also entitled to view your health record, and this can be organised by contacting the relevant facility. A health care provider or health information manager must be present for this viewing. 
    • Access to your personal health information may be declined in special circumstances, such as where giving you access would put you or another person at risk of harm; or if part of your record contains information which, by law, cannot be given to you, such as information about another person. 
    • Note that WSLHD relies on access provisions in privacy law for patient access to personal health information, rather than using the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. That is, you (or your authorised representative) do not need to make an application under the Government Information (Public Access) Act (2009) (GIPA Act) for access to your personal information, including your health records. 
    • To apply to view or obtain copies of your personal health information, the WSLHD Application for Health Care Records form should be completed and forwarded to the relevant WSLHD facility you attended. 
    • You may apply for access under the GIPA Act. However, the first step is to make an informal request for your information to the relevant facility Health Information and Record Service. WSLHD will make every effort to release your personal or health information this way using the processes outlined above. In some circumstances you may need to make a formal access application however you will be advised if this is the case. 
  • You may apply for access to your personal information under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act (1998), under Information Protection Principle 7. Contact the relevant facility.

Accuracy of Your Personal or Health Information

You are entitled to have your personal information, including your health record, amended to correct inaccuracies. If you think your personal or health information held by WSLHD is incorrect, you can ask WSLHD to correct it under:

  • Information Protection Principle 8 in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act (1998).
  • Part 6A of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act (1998).
  • Health Privacy Principle 8 under the Health Records Information and Privacy Act (2002).

If you believe the health information we hold about you is incorrect, please let your health care provider or the relevant facility Health Information and Record Service know. Appropriate action will be taken and you will be informed of the outcome. This action may include correction of the error or addition of a notation to your health record.

To assist us in maintaining accurate health records it would be appreciated if you advise your health care provider, relevant administrative staff or the relevant facility Health Information and Record Service if, for example, you change your name, address, contact details, or general practitioner details.

For further information on your rights under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act and the Health Records Information and Privacy Act please visit the WSLHD Information Privacy website.