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MedWise Occupational Health and Travel Health Services

Occupational Health: Confidentiality and Consent Issues

CONFIDENTIALITY

Medwise complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Acts and the guidelines of the Irish Medical Council regarding confidential medical information.

The employee is reassured that no sensitive confidential medical information will be disclosed to the employer or any other third party without their written consent.

CONSENT

Consent to undergo occupational health assessment:

When an individual is referred to Medwise for an occupational health assessment they will normally be requested to give written consent to undergo a medical assessment on behalf of their employer.

Consent to allow disclosure of medical info to the employer:

During the consultation the employee will also be requested to consent to allow disclosure of medical information to their employer. The consent is normally valid for 12 months and relates only to the health issues raised during the consultation.

Only relevant medical details are disclosed such as the main diagnosis or the nature of the illness will be disclosed to the employer. In most cases the employee is happy to allow disclosure of medical details to the employer since this creates understanding and facilitates accommodation of their health needs within the workplace.

However, in some cases the employee may chose not to allow disclosure of personal medical details to the employer. In these circumstances the occupational health doctor will advise the employer that the employee has “a medical condition” and outline the implications of this condition on their ability to work safely and effectively without disclosing the nature of the illness.

Consent to allow doctor to doctor communication:

It is important that the Occupational Health Physician and the employee’s treating doctors communicate, liaise and exchange medical information. This ensures that all doctors involved in the clinical and occupational health management of an individual's health problem have access to all relevant medical and workplace information. This facilitates planning of treatment and rehabilitation and assessment of fitness for work.

The employee will be asked to give written consent to allow communication between their doctors and the Medwise doctor. The consent is normally valid for 12 months.

If the employee has any concerns about giving consent they are welcome to discuss this with the doctor or nurse during the occupational health assessment.

Dr Deirdre Gleeson, Medical Director, Medwise March 2009