Transparency statement - collection, use and sharing of information

At South Canterbury DHB we take the privacy of your personal information seriously. This Transparency Statement explains how we collect, use and share information gathered about you, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993 and the Health Information Privacy Code 1994.

What information is covered by this statement and why do we collect it?

Our doctors, nurses, and other health professionals associated with your care need to collect and/or view your information so that we can best meet your health needs.  When receiving treatment from any South Canterbury DHB service we will collect personal information such as your age, date and place of birth, address, gender preference, contact person and ethnicity along with you and your family health history. We do this so we can:

  • help you manage your own health.
  • keep you and others safe.
  • plan and fund health services.
  • carry out authorised research.
  • train health care professionals.
  • prepare and publish statistics.
  • improve government services.
  • confirm your eligibility for funded health care.
  • share information with health or other agencies in preparedness and/or response to health concerns and events nationally.

Who may South Canterbury DHB disclose your information to?

We share patient information with others involved in your care such as your registered GP, Rest homes or the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), to assist you with your ongoing care and support.  This may include information about your treatments, medications, test results, appointments and ongoing rehabilitation needs.

We share information with other DHBs, and health agencies (e.g. physiotherapist), if they are or have been directly involved in your care, or other third parties in accordance with the law.

Some patient information we collect may be held by the Ministry of Health as part of a national system (such as the medical warning system or national maternity collection) or collected by the Ministry for the purposes of government planning and funding.

We forward notifications of births and deaths electronically to the Births, Deaths and Marriages register to streamline a person’s interactions with government.

We may share information with a third party without notice if required to by law or in good faith if we believe that such action is necessary: for example, to protect yourself, staff of South Canterbury DHB or the personal safety of others.

We adhere to all legislation governing our health organisation to collect, use and share information and are committed to protecting your privacy and practising the ethical use of information.

In some cases, some information may be displayed in areas that are accessed by the public. (e.g. In the ward above your bed may have your name and health needs e.g. diet restrictions, or if you need assistance e.g. to walk.)  If you have any concerns with this, please raise it with the ward staff.


Your health information may be used in research approved by an ethics committee or when it has had identifying details removed.

  • Research which may directly or indirectly identify you can only be published if the researcher has previously obtained your consent and the study has received ethics approval.
  • Under the law, you are not required to give consent to the use of your health information if it’s for unpublished research or statistical purposes, or if it’s published in a way that doesn’t identify you.


We take all reasonable steps to make sure your personal and health information is kept safe from loss, unauthorised access, modification or disclosure. There are strict policies and procedures to maintain privacy and to manage this information.

Right to access and correct

You have the right to access and correct your health information.

You have the right to see and request a copy of your health information. You don’t have to explain why you’re requesting that information, but may be required to provide proof of your identity. If you request a second copy of that information within 12 months, you may have to pay an administration fee.

Our Privacy Officer is available to give you reasonable support with making the request, including how you can meet the personal identification requirements. Requests should preferably be made in writing using the Request for Patient Information Form.

If South Canterbury DHB chooses not to change that information, you can have this noted on your file.


It’s okay to complain if you’re not happy with the way your health information is collected or used.

Talk to us in the first instance and if possible, complete the feedback form so we can quickly investigate concerns and make reasonable efforts to remedy the problem. Click on the following link to provide your feedback

You can contact our Privacy Officer via our South Canterbury DHB website, by email or by calling 03 687 2288.

If you are still unhappy with the response, you can call the Office of the Privacy Commissioner toll-free on 0800 803 909, as they can investigate this further.