The main law that protects the privacy of your health information is the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988. There are also other laws across Australia. It is illegal for most employers and all health care services to share any information about your health if you do not agree to it.

Confidentiality at health services

Your doctor should only collect your health information if you agree to it. They may ask to collect data from tests, like a blood test for hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

If you are worried about how a health service has handled your personal information, you can make a complaint. You can read more about this on the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) website.

Sometimes a health service must tell other people your health information. For example, your doctor has to tell someone if there is serious risk to your or someone else's:

  • life
  • health
  • safety

Sometimes a health service has to tell others because it is the law or there is a public health risk.

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are also "notifiable diseases". This means that your doctor must tell the government that you have hepatitis B or C. But nothing about you or your health will be made public. Find out more about notifiable diseases on the Healthdirect website.

My Health Record

Many Australians have a “My Health Record.” My Health Record shows you information about your health, including your hepatitis status. If you have a My Health Record, Health care professionals who look after you may also be able to see your hepatitis status.

You can choose who can see your health record. You can also choose to cancel your record at any time. Find out how to view and manage your record on the My Health Record site.

Confidentiality at work

Your employer can't tell others that you have hepatitis unless you agree. Most work places have to follow the law and make sure they do not tell others. For other work places, even if the law does not apply to them, as your employer they should keep your hepatitis status confidential

If you do tell your employer, it is always possible that they may tell others. So you should really think about it before you decide to tell them.

Sometimes, you have to tell your employer that you have hepatitis B or C. Find out more about this here.

If you feel that your employer has not kept your confidentiality, you can contact one of the below for help:

your local hepatitis organisation via the Hepatitis Infoline 1800 437 222.


Privacy Act 1988. Federal Register of Legislation

Guide to Australian HIV Laws and Policies for Healthcare Professionals, ASHM

For you & your family. My Health Record, Australian Digital Health Agency

Appendix A: Knowing the law, Australian Human Rights Commission

Page updated 10 November 2022