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Privacy Act & codes


People usually have a right to ask for access to health information that identifies them.

However, sometimes, health agencies can refuse to give access to information, for instance because giving the information would:

  • endanger a person’s safety
  • prevent detection and investigation of criminal offences
  • involve an unwarranted breach of someone else’s privacy.

Full rule

(1) Where a health agency holds health information in such a way that it can readily be retrieved, the individual concerned is entitled:

(a) to obtain from the agency confirmation of whether or not the agency holds such health information; and

(b) to have access to that health information.

(2) Where, in accordance with subrule (1)(b), an individual is given access to health information, the individual must be advised that, under rule 7, the individual may request the correction of that information.

(3) The application of this rule is subject to:

(a) Part 4 of the Act (which sets out reasons for withholding information);

(b) Part 5 of the Act (which sets out procedural provisions relating to access to information); and

(c) clause 6 (which concerns charges).

(4) This rule applies to health information obtained before or after the commencement of this code.

Note: This rule is subject to provisions in enactments which authorise or require personal information to be made available or Acts which prohibit, restrict, or regulate the availability of personal information: Privacy Act, sections 7(1) and (2). Under section 7(3) it is also subject to certain regulations which prohibit, restrict or regulate the availability of personal information.