“I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” The former US President Ronald Reagan famously said these were the “nine most terrible words in the English language” that anyone could expect to hear.
The Privacy Act gives you the right to request access to information about you (see principle 6). That right to access your personal information is essential if you want to maintain some understanding and control over who knows what about you. Your right of access is strong, and does not require you to provide reasons for wanting information.
In their job, health professionals have to look after some of the most intimate details of their patients’ lives. This is a great responsibility, and patients trust and expect doctors, nurses and others to not just tell anyone. This obligation is recognised in the Health Information Privacy Code.