Accessing your child’s medical record
When a child has contact with the public health system records which are individual to them and independent from their family unit are created.
Government agencies, including hospitals, must comply with privacy principles when dealing with a child’s personal information.
The Information Privacy Act does not set a specific age when children are considered to have the capacity to make decisions about their personal information.
When possible, children should make the decisions about the government’s dealing with their information themselves. However, the law recognises that some children may not have the capacity to do this and allows a parent or guardian to make these decisions on their behalf.
As a general rule, a child has the capacity when they can understand the information and the context in which it was recorded and make a mature judgement as to what might be in their best interest.
A 'child' is defined as an individual under 18 years of age and a ‘parent’ as the child’s mother or father or a person otherwise exercising parental responsibility, like a guardian or a person who, under Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander tradition or custom, is regarded as a parent of the child.
The Release of Information Unit must assess if an individual under the age of 18 has capacity to make their own application on a case-by-case basis.
How to make an access application on behalf of a child
A parent or guardian may apply to access this information on behalf of a child who is under 18 years of age. When seeking your child’s records you must provide evidence that you are their parent, like a birth certificate.
Phone: (07) 4433 1319
Fax: +61 7 4433 1331
Release of Information Unit
Townsville Hospital and Health Service
PO Box 670
Townsville QLD 4810