As a patient, you have to share medical information about yourself. For example, when you talk to your General Practitioner, speak to reception staff at an out-of-hours medical centre, make an appointment to see a doctor or pick up medicine from a pharmacy.
Medical personnel need this information in order to give you the help you need. It is therefore vital that you are confident that information concerning your illnesses, treatment or personal circumstances will not go astray.
Among other things, the duty of confidentiality means that medical personnel:
- are obliged not to disclose information themselves and to actively prevent unauthorised persons from gaining access to your medical information
- are bound by the duty of confidentiality as regards all information they become aware of through being a medical professional
- continue to be bound by the duty of confidentiality after they have left their job
- are also not permitted to disclose information to the police without the patient's consent unless there is a danger to life or health