Privacy at University Health and Counselling Service
If they wish, students can enrol with the University Health and Counselling Service (“UHCS”), which provides health and counselling services to students who choose to use them.
Like any health agency, the UHCS collects your health information to provide healthcare services, including diagnosing and treating health conditions. Your health and wellbeing are our top priority. However, we’re also part of the University and our services are an important part of the holistic pastoral care the University provides to its students. This means that, where necessary, we may need to share some information about you with others, including University staff.
The UHCS takes care to ensure that health information is always managed in accordance with the Health Information Privacy Code.
What is health information?
Health information is a broad term that covers all the information we need in order to deliver healthcare services. It’s not generally mandatory that you provide us with information, but we may not be able to properly understand your needs or provide you with treatment if you do not provide us with the information we need.
We collect health information from you directly, for example when you interact with us during consultations. We may also collect health information from third parties where required and usually with your authorisation, such as your family or other healthcare providers. Of course, we also create health information about you when we’re delivering services, such as running health screens or tests, or prescribing medications for you.
Health information includes:
- General information about you, including your name, contact details, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, residency status and NHI number
- Relevant medical history, including medical conditions, allergies, medications, and measurements
- Health information we create about you when delivering services, including our consultation notes, test results, treatment plans, and prescriptions
- Payment information, including bills, payment records and credit card details
How is health information used and shared?
As noted above, your health and wellbeing are our top priority. For this reason, we make sure that your information is used and shared only in ways that support your health and wellbeing, or the health and wellbeing of other members of the University community. Remember, this might require us to share information with others at the University.
If we do need to share information with others, there are a number of rules we follow:
- If we can, we will share only anonymous information that does not identify you
- If we need to identify you, we will always try to tell you first
- We will only ever share the minimum amount of information necessary to meet our objectives
- We will only ever share information with the people or agencies who really need to see it
We may share your health information with:
- Procare, our Primary Health Organisation, to assist them to manage regional healthcare functions. See more about how Procare uses health information (PDF download)
- The Ministry of Health, for statistical and research purposes and to assist with the allocation of health funding. See more about how the Ministry uses health information (Word Doc download)
- Other healthcare providers with a legitimate role in your care, such as specialists
- University staff with a legitimate role in your academic or pastoral care, only to the extent necessary (usually only the fact that you are enrolled with us and/or receiving treatment)
- Your family/whanau, where you have authorised this or in accordance with accepted medical practice
- Your health insurer, where you have authorised this as part of your claim process
- ACC, where your treatment is provided as part of an ACC claim
- In the event of an emergency or serious threat to health or safety, Police, medical or hospital personnel, civil emergency services, your legal representative or nominated emergency contact person, or any other person assessed as necessary to respond to the emergency
Please note, we do not share your consultation notes with the PHO, and you can opt out of having your general health information shared with the PHO by contacting us.
Where is health information stored?
We are required by law to retain your health information for at least 10 years after the last contact we have had with you. We store all the health information we hold on a secure cloud-based data storage platform that is separate from the other information the University collects about you. Written notes and records are secured in locked cabinets and accessible only to the healthcare professionals involved in your care.
Talk to us about your concerns
If you have any concerns about the collection, use or disclosure of your health information, or if you want to access or correct information we hold about you, please:
- call us on 0800 698 427 – 0800 MY UCHS
- email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- write to us at University Health and Counselling, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Or, if you want to speak with the University’s Privacy Officer, email email@example.com.