/Privacy policy

Privacy policy

We are committed to protecting the privacy of people who use our services. We understand people are concerned about the confidentiality and security of any information they provide to us.

We are subject to a strict requirement not to record, disclose or use confidential information except as allowed, authorised or required by law (part 18 of the Health Ombudsman Act 2013).

The Queensland Government has also established a privacy regime for public sector agencies, including ours, based on 11 information privacy principles detailed in the Information Privacy Act 2009).

Why we collect your personal information

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual and includes facts or an opinion about you that identifies you or by which your identity can be reasonably determined. Personal information also includes ‘sensitive information’, such as information about your:

  • health
  • political opinions
  • membership of a political, professional or trade association
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • religious beliefs or affiliation
  • philosophical beliefs
  • membership of a trade union
  • sexual preferences or practices
  • criminal record, and/or
  • genetic information.

Information provided to the Office of the Health Ombudsman is used in the performance of our functions. The collection of your personal information is essential to enable us to provide these services to you and the Queensland community.

The types of personal information we collect

The personal information we need to provide services to you will be:

  • on the printed or online forms we ask you to complete
  • in the questions we ask you on the telephone, in person, by letter or by email and/or
  • on this website.

You can expect to be asked for the following types of personal information:

  • name, address and contact details
  • date of birth
  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • any special needs and/or
  • the subject of your complaint.

We may not be able to collect all of your personal information from you directly. Sometimes we collect your personal information from other sources, such as accessing your medical records from your health service provider. We will always seek your consent to access your healthcare information.

In the course of managing complaints and monitoring the safety and quality of healthcare, we also collect personal information about health service providers. We notify health service providers when they are the subject of a written complaint.

How we use and disclose your personal information

We use and disclose your personal information for the purposes we collected it.

If you have made a health service complaint to us, we may be required to provide your complaint to the person and/or organisation you have named. If there is any information you don’t want them to receive, please let us know. If your complaint is about a registered practitioner, we will also notify the practitioner’s registration board through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and provide a copy of your complaint.

Your personal information is held in paper files and on a secure database, which is used to:

  • manage your complaint
  • monitor and report on the safety and quality of health services in Queensland
  • research ways to improve healthcare safety and quality
  • evaluate the quality and outcomes of our service.

We may use and disclose your personal information for a secondary purpose that is related to the purpose for which we collected it. This would happen in cases where you would reasonably expect us to use or disclose your information for that secondary purpose. When necessary and in connection with the purposes of collection, we may disclose your personal information to:

  • legal and clinical advisers
  • research service providers and partners
  • information technology providers, including hardware and software vendors and consultants, such as programmers
  • if required or authorised to do so, other regulatory bodies and government agencies.

Your personal information will be de-identified in any published reports or research.

Accessing or amending your personal information

You can make a request to access and/or amend the personal information we hold about you by visiting the Queensland Government’s Right to Information website for further information and an application form.

Generally, there is no charge for making an application to access your personal information, but there are some exceptions. If we deny your request for access, we will tell you why.

For your security, you must provide certified proof of your identity before your application can be processed.

Send your completed application by:


Right to Information Officer
Office of the Health Ombudsman
PO Box 13281 George Street
Brisbane Qld 4003

For more information see our Right to information page.

Complaining about a privacy breach

If you believe we have not protected your personal information as set out in this privacy statement and the Information Privacy Act 2009, please tell us. We would like to try to resolve your privacy complaint. Visit our Contact us page for ways of discussing your concerns with us.

If you are not satisfied with our response, you can complain in writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Internet privacy

When you look at our website, our internet service provider makes a record of your visit and logs the following information for statistical purposes only – the website user’s server address, the user’s top level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au, etc), the date and time of visit to the site, the pages accessed and documents downloaded, the previous site visited, and the type of browser used.

No attempt is or will be made to identify website users or their browsing activities except, in the unlikely event of an investigation, where a law enforcement agency may exercise a warrant to inspect activity logs.

Email sent to this site will be treated as a public record and retained as required by the Public Records Act 2002 and other relevant regulations.

Your name and address details will not be added to a mailing list, nor will we disclose these details to third parties without your consent unless required by law.

Email messages may be monitored by our internet service provider for system trouble shooting and maintenance purposes.

Telephone message privacy

If you call us when our telephones are unattended, you may leave a message. Our telephone system will record your message. If you have given us information about a complaint, this recording may be saved and stored on our secure database as part of the case file.