Protecting personal information enables immunisations

Syringe in foreground with mother and child blurred in backgroundLoddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre was recently contacted by a health service provider who was concerned about the legal situation faced by one of their patients.

The health service provider had attended a public forum co-presented by Loddon Campaspe CLC and other legal, advocacy and dispute resolution services that was designed to provided guidance for local health and community services trying to navigate the system on behalf of clients.

The patient, a mother with an uncertain migration status, was keen to immunise her infant child, but was anxious that doing so would risk disclosing her whereabouts to the authorities and in turn, precipitate deportation.

Loddon Campaspe CLC was able to reassure the health service provider, and in turn the patient, that the immunisations could proceed without the patient possessing a Medicare card or the health worker informing the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (who ordinarily convey relevant information to Centrelink).

Loddon Campaspe CLC clarified that while most providers do send data to the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register, sometimes automatically via their practice software, it is not mandatory for providers to do so (although there are other consequences including eligibility for government benefits).

Both the client and health worker were greatly relieved that the immunisations could proceed unimpeded.


Photo credit: Gilmoth / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Please note: the above image is provided for illustrative purposes only and does not represent any person related to the matter referred to in this post.

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