FAQs - Accessing Personal Information

How can I access my child’s personal information?

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Tasmanian Health Service (THS) holds private and confidential information about children.  By law, this information can only be shared with other people, including parents and care givers, in particular circumstances. These restrictions are in place to protect children so they know they can trust the professionals they talk to.

You can request access to your child’s private information from the business unit that holds this information.   All requests for information will be assessed on a case by case basis, taking into account the law, the information being requested, the reason(s) the information is being requested, the age and maturity of the child and who is requesting the information. In some instances, it may be decided that only a “partial release” of information held is appropriate.

The law (also known as the Personal Information Protection Act 2004) allows the DHHS/THS to give information to parents and care givers about a child if:

  • the child is unable to physically or legally give consent, and
  • if the information is necessary to provide appropriate care and treatment to the child, or
  • for compassionate reasons.

The DHHS/THS can also give information to parents and care givers if:

  • the child has the maturity and can physically consent to this.

For example, the parent or carer of a child could be given information held by the DHHS/THS regarding medical advice for managing a child’s health condition.

Child protection information is subject to additional confidential requirements, and in addition to the above, the best interests of the child will be considered as the paramount consideration. To make a request to access your child’s personal information, complete the Application for Access to Personal Information form.

Am I able to access the personal information of a relative?

The Personal Information Protection Act allows individuals the right to apply for access to their own personal information. Therefore by law, generally you can only have access to a relative’s personal information if you have obtained their written consent.

Your relative can complete the Consent to Share Personal Information form which you must submit along with your application and appropriate identification. If you are the carer of a person, health information about that person can be provided to you if necessary for their care or on compassionate grounds.

Am I able to access the personal information of deceased individuals?

By law, the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) and Tasmanian Health Service (THS) are obliged to protect the personal information of deceased individuals for 25 years after their death.

The law (Personal Information Protection Act 2004) allows for the Next of Kin (NOK) of the deceased individual to apply for access to the deceased person’s personal information. This is because the rights the deceased person had under the law to consent to accessing information can be exercised by the NOK. If you are not the NOK, then you should gain the written consent of the NOK and attach that to your application.

In addition, the Personal Information Protection Act 2004 also allows for disclosure of health information of a deceased person to the person responsible for the deceased person on compassionate grounds. This person does not need to be the NOK.

If you apply for access to the personal information of a deceased person, such requests will be assessed on a case by case basis taking into account the law, any view expressed by the person prior to their death, the relationship between the applicant and the deceased, the applicant’s prior involvement in the deceased person’s care, and respect of the sensitivities of family members.

More information

For information on PIP refer to: