Health agencies - dealing anonymously with a health agency

Health agencies1 are required to comply with the National Privacy Principles (NPPs) set out in the Information Privacy Act 2009 (Qld) (IP Act).

NPP 8 requires a health agency to allow individuals to deal anonymously with the health agency wherever this is lawful and practicable.

Health service delivery

As health agencies deal with individuals primarily in the context of  delivering a health service, this guideline focuses on health service delivery.


Wherever it is lawful and practicable, individuals must have the option of not identifying themselves when entering into transactions with a health agency.


An individual may sometimes wish to remain anonymous when seeking health services. Health agencies are only required to facilitate this where is it lawful and practicable. There are situations where it will not be lawful or practicable to provide a service anonymously.

Generally, total anonymity is not practicable in a health service context. Anonymity could raise accountability issues and potentially jeopardise the quality and timeliness of the health care provided.

Health agencies may need to maintain accurate and complete records for a range of purposes, including:

  • medico-legal purposes
  • audit; or
  • tracking of patients for notification purposes, for example, when devices such as pacemakers need to be recalled.

However, there may be circumstances where services can be provided without identification, such as health education or advisory services.


Individual may choose not to identify themselves when seeking advice about health issues such a sexual health, drug dependence, or mental health related matters.

  • 1 In this guideline, health agency includes a bound contracted service provider to a health agency.

Current as at: September 19, 2019