On 2 September 2014, Senior Member Stephen Montgomery of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal made findings relating to the interpretation of “health information” under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW).  In this case, a patient claimed that the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital had breached her privacy by providing her ex-husband with their children’s medical records, which contained information regarding treatment she had received for a serious chronic illness. 

The Senior Member found that, to the extent the patient’s health information was relevant to the provision of health services to the children, that information was “health information” of both the patient and the children under the Act.  As it was not in dispute that the father was entitled to the children’s records, providing him access to those records could not breach the Act’s Health Privacy Principles

However, the Senior Member found that some of the patient’s health information on the children’s records was not relevant or necessary to their treatment or care.  Such information was not the children’s “health information” and should not have been released with their records.  Accordingly, the hospital had breached the Health Privacy Principles in relation to that class of the patient’s “health information” and had failed to ensure the security of that information against unauthorised use and disclosure.

To view the findings, click here.