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Privacy statement

Privacy statement

BreastScreen Victoria is committed to protecting your privacy. We are required by law to protect personal information and comply with the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic)Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and other relevant legislation relating to confidentiality and privacy.

How do we protect your information privacy?

BreastScreen Victoria protects your privacy by keeping personal information secure from unauthorised access, use, disclosure or loss.

Only authorised people have access to your information. If we do identify a data breach that is likely to result in serious harm to you, we will notify you as soon as practicable.

Generally, your information must be kept for a minimum of twelve (12) years after your last contact with BreastScreen Victoria.

Why do we collect information?

We collect information for the purposes of:

  • providing breast cancer screening and assessment services
  • funding, planning, monitoring and improving our program
  • conducting training and research

What information do we collect?

We collect the following information so we may perform our work:

  • name, address and contact details
  • demographics (for example date of birth and country of birth)
  • health information relating to screening and assessment services
  • family history of cancer and symptoms of breast cancer 
  • special needs and any subsequent care and treatment received outside the program that relates to our service provision

How do we collect your information?

New information is added to your record every time you attend or contact BreastScreen Victoria.

When you attend BreastScreen Victoria, we ask you to complete and sign the Registration and Consent form. This asks you for personal and health information and to consent to BreastScreen Victoria obtaining your previous breast images and related files from other health service providers for comparison purposes.

We will obtain information about the care and treatment you have received from other health services in relation to breast screening.

We may also collect your personal or health information from other sources such as the Victorian Electoral Commission, Victorian Cancer Registry and other cancer screening or health organisations.

The Victorian Electoral Commission has made available the names and addresses of Victorian women aged 50-74 so we can invite them to attend the BreastScreen Victoria program. The VEC has made this information available under section 34 of the Electoral Act 2002 because of the significant public interest in this public health program, which will benefit Victorian women. BreastScreen Victoria has given an undertaking that the information will only be used to invite women for screening and will not be given to any third party. Severe penalties apply for any misuse of this information.

How do we use your information and who do we disclose it to?

BreastScreen Victoria will only use and disclose your personal and health information for the primary purpose for which it was collected or a directly related secondary purpose you would reasonably expect.

We use your information to provide you with the necessary care during your screening and assessment episode.

We may use and share your personal information for the following reasons:

  • To send you an invitation for your next breast screen or to provide you with information about BreastScreen or to promote the program.
  • Providing results and images to your doctor, if you nominate one, and to other health services if you choose to receive treatment with them, or if we have referred you to them.
  • Where we are required by law to report health information or cases of cancer, for example reporting to the Victorian Cancer Registry or the Department of Health and Human Services
  • For planning and education purposes including clinical meetings and technical discussions for the ongoing education of employees and health professionals involved in the program. 
  • To plan, evaluate and improve the quality of our service. 
  • For research to evaluate and improve screening services and to investigate breast disease. All projects are reviewed and approved by BreastScreen Victoria’s research committee subject to strict ethics approval
  • For surveys and promotion to ensure you are satisfied with our service. We may employ an approved company to undertake this survey. Taking part in surveys or receiving information about the program is your choice. If you do not wish to receive surveys or information you will be given the option to opt out. If you do not want to participate it will not affect your ongoing participation in the Program.
  • We may also share your information for any other situation allowed by law.

We will not transfer your information overseas unless specifically requested by you.

Why do we need you to share your information?

The information you share helps us to plan and provide you with the best possible breast screening service. Without your previous images or history for comparison, we will not be able to provide you with the best possible service, and you may be recalled unnecessarily for further tests.

How can you access your information?

BreastScreen Victoria will provide you with access to your information in accordance with the Health Records Act 2001 , Privacy Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

You can request access to your records by contacting the clinic you visited or by calling the BreastScreen Victoria Coordination Unit on (03) 9660 6888 or online. Freedom of Information requests must be made to the Department of Health and Human Services.

If you identify information in your record that is incorrect you can ask that the information be corrected.

Complaints about privacy

If you wish to make a complaint about how we have handled your information, please contact the clinic you visited or call the BreastScreen Victoria Coordination Unit on (03) 9660 6888 or online.