Frequently Asked Questions
What information is collected for the statewide databases?Information is collected about the diagnosis and care of patients in hospitals in WA and about important things such as cancer, mental illness and the health of mothers and babies. The name and address of the patient is included in this information. The information collected is not a medical record, but a summary of health care events.
Does the Department collect information from my GP?Most of the information is collected from hospitals, pathologists and midwives, not GPs. Only a small amount of information is collected from GPs, for example, for notifications of infectious diseases.
Is my consent required for my health information to be collected?Your consent is not required. The Department is authorised by legislation to collect your health information.
Can I opt out of the collection of my health information?No. Your health service provider has a legal obligation to send information about your health care to the Department because all Western Australians benefit from reliable information about health.
Does the Department of Health keep all my personal health information in a single database?No. Health information is held in a number of databases that are both physically and logically separate.
Who can access my personal health information?Department of Health staff involved in planning, performance monitoring or research may require access to personal health information. It is also required for reporting to the Federal Government and the Auditor General. Some external researchers may be granted access to personal health information.
Most access to personal health information is to non-identifiable data. That is the information has no data that can be used to identify individuals or small groups of people. When there is a genuine requirement to access identified data the Confidentiality of Health Information Committee must approve the access and a strict code of practice must be followed.When reports are produced from this identified information they are non-identified, that is they do not show any information that could be used to identify individuals or small groups of people.