Our policies at Student Health
The details of your state of health are confidential to you and the health professionals involved in your care.
The Health Information Privacy Code, and the Health Act govern the manner in which we store and control access to your information.
Occasionally, this policy may be overridden where there is concern for the safety of the individual or where there is a legal requirement to share information.
Our professional practice observes the principles detailed in the Code of Health & Disability Services Consumers' Rights. For information about health advocates and the Code of Patient Rights, visit the Health and Disability Commission website.
We appreciate the opportunity to discuss any feedback you may have with our service, please contact us.
Nationwide Health & Disability Advocacy Service
Alternatively you can contact the Nationwide Health & Disability Advocacy Service.
Tel 64 3 479 0265
Free phone 0800 555 050
Health and Disability Commission
The Health and Disability Commission can also advise you if you have any concerns about our services.
All students who have a debt at Student Health are sent reminder statements during each semester. All debts are required to be paid by the last day of lectures each semester.
It is the policy of the University of Otago that we inform Financial Services of those students who have not paid their accounts by the due dates. The University may:
- Remove access to course materials/resources
- Charge additional fees
- Exclude a student from classes, and/or from re-enrolling
- Withhold graduation
- Withhold the official record of results
If you are having difficulty paying your account please ask to speak with our Practice Manager.
A "no news is good news" policy is used, so if you have not heard from the nurse or doctor within 10 working days you can assume your results were all normal.
If you would like to be notified about your results please discuss this with your doctor/nurse at the time of your consultation.
For some results (eg, cervical screening) we are required to send a copy to you, please ensure we have your correct contact details.
This policy governs the use by SHS clinical staff of email, text and other electronic platforms e.g. social media, in the course of their professional contact with their patients or clients.
E-mail communication between a SHS clinical staff member and patient is regarded as subordinate and subsidiary to face-to-face clinical contact rather than a stand-alone or independent channel for conducting diagnostic evaluation or treatment.
With patient consent, e-mail may be used to expedite the arrangement of face-to-face appointments or convey negative and/or expected results of clinical investigation. e-mail is not an appropriate conduit for the provision of acute or unscheduled clinical care by SHS clinical staff. In general, e-mail is not an appropriate way to initiate a clinical relationship; exceptions may exist where a prospective patient has specific health needs and particular arrangements need to be negotiated by email prior to their arrival. e-mail is used specifically, with patient consent, to advise students of negative results of cervical screening and Health Science student, infectious disease screening.
Similarly the use of text by SHS staff is primarily to facilitate face-to-face contact e.g. appointment reminders.
• All SHS clinical staff members adopt the agreed service e-mail signature for any clinical communication with their patients.
• All SHS clinical staff members adopt the agreed out-of-office service message for the benefit of their patients.
• All email communication between a clinical staff member and patient is noted as such and recorded in the patient’s clinical record
SHS staff may text students using Medtech SMS for:
• Appointment cancellations
• Appointment reminders (on individual basis only, SHS has not initiated the global appointment reminder option)
• Requests to contact Student Health
• To send out general information to a group of students (must be approved by Clinical Director / Operations Manager)
• No clinical information is to be included in the text
• Footer should always be used “ Student Health 0800479821 do not txt reply”
• Appointment reminder texts by exception only
A permanent record of all texts sent by SHS staff will be available in the patient’s clinical record.
The use of social media e.g. ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’, ‘LinkedIn’ by SHS clinical staff to communicate clinically with individual patients is considered inappropriate.
The use of some of these electronic platforms to promote public health messages or to advertise the availability of general treatments or services will be considered and approved by the Clinical Director or Operations Manager on a case-by-case basis