Appendix 2: Summary of Health Privacy Principles [HPP] as provided in the NSW Health Privacy Manual.
- Collection principles
- Security principles
- Access and amendment principles
- Accuracy principles
- Use principles
- Disclosure principles
- Other principles
HPP 1 Purposes of collection of personal health information
Personal health information must be collected by lawful means and for a lawful purpose.
The purpose must be directly related to, and reasonably necessary for, an organisation’s functions or activities.
HPP 2 Collection and information sought to be relevant, not excessive, accurate and not intrusive.
HPP 3 Collection from individual concerned
Personal health information must be collected from the individual it relates to, unless that is unreasonable or impractical.
HPP 4 Individual to be made aware of certain matters.
Reasonable steps must be taken to inform the individual about how the information may be used, who may access it, and the consequences of not providing it.
The individual should be told what agency is collecting the information and that they have a right to access it.
This information should generally also be given to the individual where information about them is collected from someone else, unless certain exemptions listed in the Act and the Guidelines apply.
HPP 5 Retention and security.
Personal health information held by public health agencies must be securely housed and protected against loss or misuse.
Information must be kept only as long as is necessary for the purpose (or as required by a law, such as the State Records Act 1998), and must be disposed of securely.
HPP 6 Information about personal health information held by organisations.
Organisations that hold personal health information must allow individuals to find out whether they hold information about that individual and, if so, what kind of information they hold, what it is used for, and whether and how the individual can access it.
HPP 7 Access to personal health information.
Individuals must be allowed to access the personal health information an organisation holds about them.
This must be done without excessive delay or expense.
HPP 8 Amendment of personal health information.
Individuals may request that their personal health information be amended to ensure that it is accurate, relevant, up to date, complete and not misleading.
Organisations must either make the requested amendments or, if requested, attach to the information a statement by the individual of the amendment they sought.
HPP 9 Accuracy
Organisations must take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal health information they hold is relevant, up to date, complete and not misleading.
HPP 10 Limits on use of personal health information.
Personal health information can be used for the purpose for which it was collected or a directly related purpose.
Information may be used for other purposes only in circumstances defined in legislation.
This includes where the person has consented to the use, there is a lawful excuse or the use is a ‘directly related purpose’ such as management and training, research, investigation and law enforcement and serious threats to individuals or the public.
HPP 11 Limits on disclosure of personal health information.
The provisions for disclosure of personal health information are the same as those for use of this information.
They also include a provision that a person’s personal health information may be disclosed to immediate family members for compassionate reasons, provided that this is not contrary to the expressed wish of the individual.
HPP 12 Identifiers
Identifiers can only be applied to personal health information if this is reasonably necessary to carry out the organisation’s functions. Public health system identifiers may be used by private sector agencies, but only in defined circumstances and with strict controls.
HPP 13 Anonymity
Provided that it is lawful and practicable, individuals should be given the option of not identifying themselves when dealing with health organisations.
HPP 14 Transborder data flows and data flows to Commonwealth agencies
As a general principle, personal health information must not be transferred to a
Commonwealth agency or an organisation in another state jurisdiction unless the receiving agency applies personal health information privacy policies and procedures substantially similar to those of NSW.
HPP 15 Linkage of health records
Personal health information must not be included in a system that links health records of one health service with health records in another health service unless the individual it relates to has expressly consented.