Accessing your child’s medical record
Children have personal information that is individual to them and independent to their information as part of a family unit. Government agencies (including hospitals) are obligated to comply with the privacy principles whenever they deal with a child’s personal information. The Information Privacy Act does not set an age at which children can be presumed to have the capacity to make decisions about their personal information.
As far as possible, children should make decisions concerning the government’s dealing with their personal information themselves. However, the Information Privacy Act recognises that children may not have the capacity to understand and make decisions concerning their personal information and makes provision for a parent to make these decisions on their behalf.
The Townsville HHS Release of Information Unit must assess whether an individual under the age of 18 has capacity on a case-by-case basis. As a general rule, a child has the capacity to make decisions when he or she has sufficient understanding and maturity to understand what is being proposed.
A ‘child’ is defined in section 45 of the IP Act as an individual who is under 18 years of age. The same section defines ‘parent’ as the child’s mother or father or a person otherwise exercising parental responsibility, including a guardian, and a person who, under Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander tradition or custom, is regarded as a parent of the child.
Release of Information Unit
Townsville Hospital and Health Service
PO Box 670
Townsville QLD 4810
Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm (excluding public holidays)
Telephone: + 61 7 4433 1319
Fax: +61 7 4433 1331