WA Health system

Medical records and your privacy

Every time you visit a doctor or hospital, a paper and electronic record of your visit is created. These records can be accessed quickly in an emergency and by other doctors and hospitals where needed.

They are kept as a record of events during your stay and to help understand your needs and aid your recovery.

If you have a My Health Record (MHR), you may also have a copy of your discharge summary sent to your MHR when you are discharged. Please let your doctor know if you don’t want this to occur.

To learn more visit the My Health Record website (external site).

By law, your personal information must be kept confidential

Personal information is recorded about every person who attends a hospital in Western Australia. Various legal Acts and Regulations authorise the Department of Health to collect certain information about you.

This can include information about your birth, your giving birth or undergoing an assisted reproductive procedure.

It can also include a diagnosis of cancer or communicable disease or treatment for a mental illness.

This information is:
  • coded and sent to the Western Australian Department of Health
  • used only for research, planning or service improvement.

You cannot be identified from this information.

You have the right to view personal information about you that is held by the Department. To access your health record, you should apply in writing to the hospital or community health service that you have attended.

Learn more about accessing your WA Health records.

Video – Medical records and your privacy

Watch more of our videos at the WA Health YouTube channel (external site).

Read the video transcript – Medical records and your privacy.


  • Your records can be accessed easily in an emergency.
  • Information collected is used only for research, planning or service improvement.
  • You have the right to view personal information about you.


Quality Improvement and Change Management Unit

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

Link to HealthyWA Facebook page