Confidentiality of health data
The privacy of medical records is protected by government privacy provisions, as well as the confidentiality requirements of section 52 of the Coal Mining Safety and Health Regulation 2017.
An appointed medical adviser may disclose the contents of a medical record to the coal mine worker or someone with the worker's written consent.
The Chief Executive of the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy must disclose the contents of a worker's records to the worker upon receipt of a written request. The Chief Executive may also disclose records to:
- another person with the worker's consent
- a doctor or hospital without the coal mine worker's consent if the information is needed to treat the worker and the worker is unable to give consent
- a person, such as a doctor, without the coal mine worker's consent to enable the person to carry out an assessment or review (e.g. comparative assessment of spirometry)
- an appropriately qualified person for approved research (i.e. approved by a Human Research Ethics Committee under the Public Health Act 2005 or similar body) without the coal mine worker's consent.