Commencing 12 March 2014, significant privacy law reform changes were made to the Privacy Act 1988; demanding privacy standards comply with Australian Privacy Principles (APPs). These changes affect all health service providers handling personal information in any form (e.g. paper, electronic, visual such as x-rays, and audio records).
Health service providers are strongly advised to renew their workplace privacy policies to ensure they are not at risk of being penalised for breaching the new laws.
Background to privacy laws
There is no specific privacy legislation for the private sector; however the Privacy Act 1988 applies to all individual and institutional organisations and entities in the private and public sectors, in all States and Territories of Australia. As a result of the recent law reform, the most significant change to this Act is the inclusion of Australian Privacy Principles (APPs), as they directly apply to all health professionals.
How can Practices comply with these new obligations?