Getting copies of health records and information 1

To us the area of ”health records and information,” like just about every area of our medical system, is a complete and utter mess.

There’s a whole act of Parliament about it, the Health Records & Information Privacy Act 2002, but just about everyone treats it as a joke. And as usual with the so-called authorities we have, no one is held accountable for treating it as a joke.

Some years ago there were indications that, when Primary Health Care Limited took over a particular medical centre, all the health records and information associated with it were destroyed – even the doctors in it couldn’t access them, they had to start again, putting health records and information together on their patients. And we wrote to everyone we could think of about it, and no body cared.

We made a complaint concerning them to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission, and it took them eight and a half months to reply. And their reply – “Don’t bother us with this stuff – take your complaints to the NSW Privacy Commissioner, Dr Elizabeth Coombs.” We’ve done this, with basically disastrous outcomes – about more later.

If you have questions about health records and information, email them to us, using – we may know some of the answers, but, something which is much more likely, we can chase up the answers from people who might know. But basically, it’s all bad news.

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