Who we are
We are Specialist Veterinary Services Pty Ltd (ACN 006 909 173), part of the Healius Ltd group. We trade as:
- Vetnostics in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory;
- ASAP Laboratory in Victoria and South Australia;
- QML Vetnostics in Queensland and Northern New South Wales:
- TML Vetnostics in Tasmania; and
- Vetpath Laboratory Services in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
We provide pathology services to animal owners, veterinarians, veterinary service industry and commercial clients.
In conducting our business, we collect, use and disclose personal information. We understand the importance to our customers of maintaining privacy in relation to the personal information we hold.
What personal information do we collect and hold?
Personal information is information or an opinion about an identified person, or someone who is reasonably identifiable, whether or not the information or opinion is true and whether the information or opinion is recorded in a material form or not.
The types of personal information we may collect and hold about you include:
Billing and administration
How do we collect and hold personal information?
We collect personal information about you in several ways, including from:
- information that may be recorded on the request for testing;
- other persons or entities who ask us to perform pathology services on your behalf; and
- you directly.
When we receive a request to provide your animal with veterinary pathology services, we create a unique digital veterinary record for your animal. Every time we perform a veterinary pathology service for your animal, new information is added to that record. Your personal information may be included in that record.
We take reasonable steps to protect the personal information in records from misuse, interference and loss and also from unauthorised access, modification and disclosure.
Why do we need your personal information and what do we do with it?
- Animal care
We collect, maintain, use and disclose personal information about you in order to provide appropriate care, treatment and services to the animal we have been asked to assist. Usually this information is limited and used for identification of the owner of the animal.
We disclose your animal’s pathology results which may contain your personal information:
- to the person who requested the pathology service (which may be, for example, your veterinarian);
- to anyone else specified in the request for the veterinary services (your veterinarian may request that we disclose your pathology results to other persons involved in your animals treatment);
- to other persons not specifically listed in the request for the pathology service but who appear to be providing veterinary services to you, for example a specialist that you are consulting about your animal (we will only do this if we are reasonably satisfied that you have consented to this occurring or there appear to be other reasons why this is appropriate);
- where the pathology service was requested on your behalf by a government department, to that government department;
- to anyone else you request or consent to in writing.
For some specific pathology tests it is accepted clinical practice that we must give your veterinarian not only the test result for the test your veterinarian has requested but also the results of all tests of the same nature that we have performed for you previously (regardless of who requested those tests). Past results assist your veterinarian to determine whether or not your animal’s current test result is abnormal. These test results may contain your personal information.
In some circumstances, it may be necessary for us to obtain confirmatory testing from a third party laboratory or, for highly specialised pathology services, we may need to arrange for a reference laboratory to perform the required pathology services on our behalf. In these circumstances, we will disclose personal information about you to these third parties for the limited purpose of obtaining the necessary pathology services.
- Operating our business and sending accounts
We may use your personal information as necessary to manage our accounts and obtain payment for the services we provide, although usually this is done through the referring veterinarian. Specifically, we will use and, where necessary, disclose your personal information to obtain payment from, as appropriate, you, an insurer or from any organisation responsible for payment of any part of your account and for data entry and data analytics purposes. This may also extend to disclosure of your personal information to a debt collector or a credit-checking agency.
If the circumstances require, we may disclose your personal information to our insurers.
We may use your personal information to:
- give you important information about our products and services;
- advertise to you particular products and services that may be of interest to you.
- Teaching and research
We may use your personal information for internal teaching purposes or to monitor, evaluate, plan and improve the services we provide. We will only use de-identified information (information that does not contain any personal details that may reasonably identify you) for these purposes.
Entities undertaking research (such as Universities, Specialist Veterinarians, etc.) may sometimes request data from our veterinary records. We will only disclose de-identified data in response to these requests.
University students undertaking clinical placements with us may have access to and use your personal information when looking at our veterinary records.
- Other disclosures
We may be required by law to disclose your personal information without your consent.
What happens if we do not collect your personal information?
If you don’t provide us with all the personal information we request, we may not be able to provide pathology services to your animal under your care. We only collect as much personal information from you as we need to provide you with services and to allow us to obtain payment for those services.
Do we transfer personal information overseas?
We may disclose your personal information to wholly owned subsidiaries of our parent company, Healius Ltd, which are based in India and the Philippines. These companies provide billing, payment and other administrative services, data-entry and data analytics services to us. There are also some limited tests performed by reference laboratories in the UK, the USA and Canada. We take reasonable steps to ensure that these companies do not breach the requirements of the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and other State and Territory privacy legislation that may be applicable.
Can you access your personal information we hold?
You may request access to the personal information we hold about you. You can also request that corrections be made to it. We will respond to your request within a reasonable time. However, please note that generally our reports contain the details of the animal only and not the owners of that animal. In relation to those documents, we will only release a copy to you with the permission of the referring veterinarian
In the case where we do hold personal information about you, there are some circumstances where we are not required to give you access to or correct your personal information. We will normally give you a written notice setting out our reasons for not complying with your request and informing you of how you can complain about our refusal.
There is no fee for requesting access to your personal information or for us to make corrections. However, we will charge a fee for our costs involved in collating and providing you with access to any personal information. That fee is payable before access is given.
What to do if you would like to make a complaint about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles
If you have any concerns about how we handle your personal information or you wish to make a complaint on the basis that we have breached the Australian Privacy Principles prescribed by the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth), please contact us. If you would like to make a complaint, you will need to send us a written complaint (see details below).
We will endeavour to respond to your complaint within a reasonable time after it is made.
How to contact us
You can contact our Privacy Officer in the following ways:
02 9432 9523
Level 22, 161 Castlereagh Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000
Attention: Privacy Officer