Translator Interpreter Services
The Translator Interpreter Service is available for non English speaking patients. Please speak to the Receptionist to organize the services of a phone interpreter.
The practice communicates via email to patients in some cases. In particular for complaints/issues and similar matters. Please note, average turn around time for such things is 48 hours. Further, no clinical information will be discussed in such correspondence. For such matters, a phone call will occur between the patient and the practice, with a follow up letter sent to a designated postal address
Unless otherwise directed by doctors, a follow up appointment will be required to obtain your results. Even if your result is ‘normal’ further investigation or discussion may be needed.
Our Clinic maintains a patient recall, reminder system and National & State Reminder Scheme so that you can be advised of suggested ongoing reviews. If you do not wish to be a part of our recall system please discuss this with your Doctor.
For Medico legal reasons all prescriptions required must need a consultation with the GP.
Long Consultations can be arranged please speak to the receptionist on duty.
Telephoning your Doctor’s
You can contact your doctor by telephone during normal surgery hours. A message will be taken when the doctor is with another patient. Emergencies will be dealt with immediately.
Available for regular patients who are unable to attend the clinic due to their medical condition. Doctors also visit nursing homes, hostels and hospitals. Please ring as early as possible to organise a home visit. Home visits are only available during hours and to homes within a 5km radius from the clinic. Other Home visits may be considered at the Doctor’s discretion.
Translator is available for anyone who has a vision and hearing difficulties during their consultations.
What personal information do we collect?
The information we will collect about you includes:
- names, date of birth, addresses, contact details
- medical information including medical history, medications, allergies, adverse events, immunisations, social history, family history and risk factors
- Medicare number (where available) for identification and claiming purposes
- healthcare identifiers
- Health fund details.
How do we collect your personal information?
Our practice will collect your personal information:
- When you make your first appointment our practice staff will collect your personal and demographic information via your registration.
- During the course of providing medical services, we may collect further personal information.
- We may also collect your personal information when you visit our website, send us an email or SMS, telephone us, make an online appointment or communicate with us using social media.
- In some circumstances personal information may also be collected from other sources. Often this is because it is not practical or reasonable to collect it from you directly.
- This may include information from:
- Your guardian or responsible person.
- Other involved healthcare providers, such as specialists, allied health professionals, hospitals, community health services and pathology and diagnostic imaging services.
- Your health fund, Medicare, or the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (as necessary).
Why and when your consent is necessary?
When you register as a patient of Ballarat Family Medical Centre, you provide consent for GPs and practice staff to access and use your personal information so they can provide you with the best possible healthcare. Only staff who need to see your personal information will have access to it.
If we need to use your information for anything else, we will seek additional consent from you to do this.
Why do we collect, use, hold and share your personal information? Ballarat Family Medical Centre will need to collect your personal information to provide healthcare services to you. Our main purpose for collecting, using, holding and sharing your personal information is to manage your health. We also use it for directly related business activities, such as financial claims and payments, practice audits and accreditation, and business processes.
Who do we share your personal information with?
We sometimes share your personal information:
- With third parties who work with our practice for business purposes, such as accreditation agencies or information technology providers – these third parties are required to comply with APPs and this policy
- With other healthcare providers
- When it is required or authorised by law (e.g., court subpoenas)
- When it is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to a patient’s life, health or safety or public health or safety, or it is impractical to obtain the patient’s consent
- To assist in locating a missing person
- To establish, exercise or defend an equitable claim
- For the purpose of confidential dispute resolution process
- When there is a statutory requirement to share certain personal information (e.g. some diseases require mandatory notification)
- During the course of providing medical services, through Electronic Transfer of Prescriptions (eTP), MyHealth Record/PCEHR system (e.g. via Shared Health Summary, Event Summary).
- Only people that need to access your information will be able to do so
Other than in the course of providing medical services or as otherwise described in this policy, our practice will not share personal information with any third party without your consent. We will not share your personal information with anyone outside Australia (unless under exceptional circumstances that are permitted by law) without your consent.
Ballarat Family Medical Centre will not use your personal information for marketing any of our goods or services directly to you without your express consent. If you do consent, you may opt-out of direct marketing at any time by notifying our practice in writing.
How do we store and protect your personal information?
Your personal information may be stored at our practice in various forms. As paper records, as electronic records, as visual (X-rays, CT scans, videos and photos), as audio recordings. Ballarat Family Medical Centre stores all personal information securely.
Information in electronic format, is stored in protected information systems. Hard copy format records are stored in a secured environment. We use passwords, secure cabinets, for electronic data and confidentiality agreements for staff and contractors.
Dealing with us anonymously
You have the right to deal with us anonymously or under a pseudonym unless it is impracticable for us to do so or unless we are required or authorised by law to only deal with identified individuals.
How can you access and correct your personal information at our practice?
You have the right to request access to, and correction of, your personal information. We acknowledge patients may request access to their medical records. We require you to put this request in writing either by letter or email and we will respond within 30 days.
Ballarat Family Medical Centre will take reasonable steps to correct your personal information where the information is not accurate or up to date. From time-to-time, we will ask you to verify your personal information held by our practice is correct and up to date. You may also request that we correct or update your information, and you should make such requests in writing to the reception team at adminballaratclinic.com.au
How can you lodge a privacy related complaint, and how will the complaint be handled at our practice?
We take complaints and concerns regarding privacy seriously. You should express any privacy concerns you may have in writing. We will then attempt to resolve it in accordance with our resolution procedure.
All complaints should be addressed to the Business Manager and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively a letter can be posted to 28 Drummond street N, Ballarat 3350 VIC. You should receive a response within 30 days of lodging your complaint or concern.
You may also contact the OAIC (Office of the Australian Information Commissioner) Generally the OAIC will require you to give them time to investigate, before they will respond.
For further information visit www.oaic.gov.au or call the OAIC on 1300 363 992
Appointments are preferred and can be made by calling the clinic or online via our website. Standard appointments are 15 mins long. Walk-ins welcome. We can accommodate urgent care if required
Patient Feedback & Complaints Scheme
From time to time we ask patients to participate in a survey. This allows us to improve our practice & facilities. If you are unhappy with any aspect of care you receive we would appreciate knowing about it.
Please feel free to discuss this with either your Doctor or the Reception staff. You may also like to put a comment in the suggestion box in the waiting room.
We may issue you with a reminder or recall notice via telephone, SMS or letter from time to time, confirming your appointment, offering you preventative health services appropriate to your care and/or recalling you for results. If you do not wish to be part of this system, please inform reception during your visit.
Health Complaints Commissioner
If there is a problem you wish to address outside the Clinic you can contact the Victorian Government Service for handling health complaints.
T: 1300 582 113
All of our patients have a right and are encouraged to participate in decision about their healthcare.
Engaging with other services & referrals
Our practice regularly engages with local health services, such as Specialists, Allied Health and Hospitals. If required, your GP will provide sufficient information (referral letter) to plan and facilitate optimal patient care.
After Hours Service
For after hours service , please contact our triage centre. A registered nurse will call you back. The call back service will incur a out-of-pocket charge of $20 which will be advised before the nurse contacts you.If you require urgent assistance please dial 000 for an ambulance or attend your nearest hospital emergency department. Please note this service is only available for registered patients of the clinic.