Right 3 - Confidentiality, privacy and security

The Rights of the Health Service Consumer

The health service consumer has the right to have his/her personal health information and any matters of a sensitive nature kept confidential. No identifying information about the consumer, his/her condition or treatment may be disclosed without his/her consent unless the disclosure is required or authorised by law. In some cases, the provider is legally required to disclose health issues under mandatory reporting requirements or in the public interest.

The right to be informed if the provider is required to disclose information about his/her health due to mandatory reporting requirements or in the public interest.

The right to know who may have access to his/her personal health record, within the bounds of confidentiality.

The right to know what sort of information is kept on his/her health record.

The right to nominate another person who may receive information about the consumer’s health status and care. This person does not necessarily have to be a next of kin.

The right to have information about his/her health status and care passed on to another provider, at his/her request.

The right to expect that staff of health service facilities are bound by confidentiality agreements, and will be disciplined if these agreements are breached.

The right to health service facilities which ensure his/her privacy when receiving health care.

The right to be treated with sensitivity as regards his/her confidentiality and privacy.

The right to expect that information about his/her health is kept securely and cannot be easily accessed by unauthorised persons. Any record that contains personal information about the consumer’s health should not be left in reception areas or treatment rooms. When the provider or another authorised person does not have a file, it should be stored securely. The same applies to computer or electronic records. Similarly, health service providers should not talk about consumer’s health or care where other unauthorised persons can overhear them.

The Rights of the Health Service Provider

The provider has the right to discuss the health care and treatment of a consumer with other providers for advice and support, in the best interest of the consumer’s health and well-being.

Where to next?

Right 4 - Access to complaints mechanisms

Updated: 24th May 2021