Health service providers are not credit providers

In L v Health Service Provider [2009] PrivCmrA 15 a patient complained to the Privacy Commissioner when his payment default for health services was listed in his consumer credit information file. While the complainant had failed to pay for the medical procedure, the Commissioner considered the health service provider did not have a sufficient credit relationship with the complainant, and was not a credit provider in accordance with Determination No. 2006-2.

The Commissioner formed the view that the health service provider had interfered with the complainant’s privacy by listing a payment default when it was not a credit provider in respect of the debt. In response to the complainant’s claim that the payment default prevented them from obtaining finance, the health service provider apologised, removed the payment default, and ceased its practice of reporting overdue accounts to a credit reporting agency. The complainant also accepted a confidential financial settlement.

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