Can I amend my medical records?

The Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act) allows you to apply to amend documents of Queensland government agencies where they contain your personal information and you can provide evidence that it is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.

Amendment under the IP Act cannot be used to challenge a medical opinion or diagnosis.  Disagreeing with a medical opinion does not make it incorrect.  If you disagree with an opinion or are dissatisfied with treatment you received from a medical professional, other more appropriate avenues available to you include:

  • seeking a second opinion; or
  • making a complaint to the health service or the Office of the Health Ombudsman.

Although inaccuracies in your medical records may have significant effects on you, eg. your ability to access a disability support pension, applications to amend medical records under the IP Act are almost always unsuccessful because:

  • agencies are not permitted to destroy certain public records under the Public Records Act 2002 (Qld); and
  • an agency has the discretion to refuse to amend a document even if it is shown that the information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or misleading.

Asking the agency to add a notation to your medical record is usually a much better option than making an amendment application as it allows your concerns to be recorded and maintains the integrity of the original record.

Current as at: March 3, 2016