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Hospital records of people in immigration detention

Do you provide medical treatment to people in immigration detention?

The Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the National Archives of Australia have provided advice clarifying ownership of the health records of people in immigration detention.

In short, these medical records remain the property of the treating institution and should be managed in accordance with Victorian legislation and PROV standards in exactly the same way as any other medical records.

The specific advice is as follows:

Client medical records relating to services provided by state and territory health providers remain the property of the treating hospital, except in a small number of cases such as offshore establishments under direct Commonwealth control and offshore territories (e.g. Christmas Island), or where the terms of contract with the Commonwealth specify Commonwealth records ownership.  While some records may be passed on to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s Health Services Provider by state and territory health providers, generally hospital client medical records are not Commonwealth records.

Hospitals should manage these records as required by their state or territory legislation and local procedures.   The same process should also be followed for records held by other state and territory health providers, such as medical centres.

Questions about health records relating to people in immigration detention can be directed to the Detention Health Operations Section, Department of Immigration and Citizenship at detention.health@immi.gov.au.

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