It is common knowledge with all health practitioners that they must evoke complete trust with their patients, if they want an effective therapeutic relationship with their patients.
The Medical Board of Australia’s Good Medical Practice:
The Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia states:
“Patients have a right to expect that doctors and their staff will hold information about them in confidence, unless release of information is required by law or public interest considerations.”
Tego Insurance Can Help
At Tego Insurance, we are firm believers that with all the new regulations, health practitioners must know the facts to protect their practices and their patients. as providers of medical indemnity insurance, entity medical malpractice insurance and more, our experts can help you navigate this ever changing landscape.
A doctor’s legal obligation of confidentiality arises out of common law. Good medical practice involves:
- Treating all information about patients as confidential.
- Appropriately sharing information about patients for their health care, consistent with privacy law and professional guidelines about confidentiality.
- Being aware that there are complex issues related to genetic information and seeking appropriate advice about disclosure of such information.
Breach of Confidentiality Is Not Absolute
As we have established, confidentiality is a crucial legal and ethical duty for all health practitioners. But it is not absolute. Medical doctors have the right to disclose a patient’s personal information without breaching duties of confidentiality under certain conditions and circumstances: from the patient’s capacity to respond, to public interest issues.
Below are 3 excellent examples:
- Express or implied consent of the patient to the release of the information
- Mandatory disclosure under compulsion of law
- Overriding duty in the “public interest” to disclose information
Confidentiality is Fundamental
Confidentiality is an important tenet to doctor patient relationships. Yes, complex issues will arise when balancing your duty of patient confidentiality and your duty to society. Let Tego Insurance help. We encourage our clients to seek advice from our experienced staff.
The experts at Tego Insurance can help you deal with all the complexities of confidentiality between doctors and patients, both legally and ethically. With the laws changing and the need to protect a patient’s private information becoming more and more difficult, it is essential that you understand what the rules are.
Tego Insurance offers medical indemnity insurance for medical practitioners underwritten by Berkshire Hathaway. We have a deep understanding of how to protect doctors, nurses, healthcare practitioners and facilities, from medical professional indemnity insurance costs to medical malpractice insurance issues.
With the healthcare industry, ever changing, you deserve an insurance partner who provides greater flexibility, innovation and more choice when it comes to protecting your practice and your patients. contact us to find out more.
This publication is general in nature and is not comprehensive or constitute legal or medical advice. You should seek legal, medical or other professional advice before relying on any content, and practice proper clinical decision making with regard to individual circumstances. Persons implementing any recommendations contained in this publication must exercise their own independent skill or judgment or seek appropriate professional advice relevant to their own particular practice. Compliance with any recommendations will not in any way guarantee discharge of the duty of care owed to patients and others coming into contact with the health professional or practice. Tego Insurance Pty Ltd is not responsible to you or anyone else for any loss suffered in connection with the use of this information.
Eric is the CEO of Tego, an insurance agency offering specialist indemnity insurance solutions for the healthcare and life sciences sectors. His qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in business and law, a master’s degree from UNSW in law and management and an MBA from the AGSM.