08 Mar 2018

New information sharing scheme

Laws coming into effect this month have created a new information sharing scheme in Victoria.

The Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017 has repercussions for the Health Records Act 2001 and other Victorian privacy legislation, and will affect organisations who handle personal and health information.

One key change is the removal of the word ‘imminent’ from several provisions in the Health Privacy Principles (HPPs), which form part of the Health Records Act 2001. Previously, a person’s personal and health information could be collected, used and disclosed without that person’s consent if it was being done to prevent a threat that was both 'serious and imminent'.

The HCC and the Office for the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) have developed an information sheet and FAQs about these changes.

The changes are based on recommendations by the 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence to minimise the legislative barriers preventing timely and effective information sharing when there are cases of family violence.