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Correspondence with OmbudsmanSA re: SAHLN's manipulative offer of access to some health records!


On the final submission date I was surprised to receive from OmbudsmanSA what would seem to be the equivalent to an out of court settlement where SAHLN agreed to release documents with reference to a a potentially broad range of documents under a range of legislation. Although dressed up as being in my personal interests I see the offer as a manipulative means of having my personal and professional submissions excluded from providing any context to OmbudsmanSA's consideration of any potential redactions.


This caught me off guard and placed me in a stressful position throughout the following correspondences in reaching my final decision on how to proceed with this case. Unfortunately, as a result of such stress, my ADHD and replying mainly via my phone my responses are riddled with spelling mistakes & I fail to complete a sentence in the email of my final decision by which time it is evident that I am worn down. However, to make myself feel better I picked up at least one error in one of the Ombudsman's responses. After all, we are all only human!


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Correspondence from Ombudsman SA Yahoo/Inbox

Kuch, Anoon (OMB) Mon, Jun 26 at 3:42 PM OFFICIAL: Sensitive Dear Mr Parker, As previously stated, the SALHN have provided their submissions to this office. Within their submissions, the agency has presented two avenues for the resolution of this matter. Option 1: This Office proceeds with the external review to assess the matter with reference to the submissions made by yourself & the agency to produce a final determination. Option 2: The agency sighted section 26(4) of the Freedom of Information Act 1991 which states: 26-Documents affecting personal affairs (4) If – (a) an application is made to an agency for access to a document to which this section applies; and (b) the document contains information of a medical or psychiatric nature concerning the applicant; and (c) the agency is of the opinion that disclosure of the information to the applicant may have an adverse effect on the physical or mental health, or the emotional state, of the applicant; and (d) the agency decides that access to the document is to be given, it is sufficient compliance with this Act if access to the document is given to a registered medical practitioner nominated by the applicant. As such, in accordance with section 26(4) the agency has proposed to grant you access to your medical records by providing them to a registered medical practitioner of your choice for them to either disclose to you or discuss the contents of the medical records. However, under this option the medical records will feature redactions to information related to:

  1. Documents affecting law enforcement and public safety – clauses 4(2)(a)(iv(vi), 4(2)(b)

  2. Documents affecting personal affairs – Clause 6(1)

  3. Documents containing confidential material – clause 13(1)

As such, I ask that you please advise this office by COB 29 June 2023 as to whether you would like for this Office to proceed with the external review or whether you would like to proceed with the second option and have access to the documents under the relevant conditions. Please keep me advised if you have any questions or queries regarding this information. Sincerely, Anoon Kuch [she/her] Legal Officer

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mark parker To:ombudsman.sa.gov.au Mon, Jun 26 at 6:51 PM

Dear OmbudsmanSA At this stage I would I feel it is best to select Option 1 & proceed with an external review. However, I do have some questions as to what happens if I choose the external review & the decision somehow falls out of my favour. Option 2 would be far more reasonable if it included appropriate professionals I already have trusting relationships with such as my psychologist. However, even this would be an ineficient use of their time which would be better invested discussing anything i may find of concern. I see limiting access to via "medical professionals" who don't have unlimited time to go through my medical records as being a means of inhibiting my access to such records. Given the lack of integrity SALHN have demonstrated so far throughout their relentless attempts to deny access to my files - I am also wary of the legislation sighted below to be used as an excuse to deny access to the most important documents in my file. Particularly in an unusual context overseen by their employees & surrounding which I am unaware if any complaints processes even exist. Without understanding or anticipating these options being provided by OmbidsmanSA - I almost feel as if SAHLNs offer is a desperate attempt to blackmail me into accepting an offer that is impractical & likely to cause significant stress via inhibiting my ability to efficiciently access my medical information. As raised in my personal submission I would also like to raise OmbudsmanSA's attention as to wheather SAHLN has at any point considered the ongoin impact that their relentless refusal to provide my records, including this decision is having upon my mental & physical health. Absence of any such consideration is further evidence of SAHLN demonstrating that hiding 'agency operations' is taking priority over 'actual genuine concern' for my health & wellbeing. As this was unexpected & involves a relitively short time frame, I may call OmbudsmanSA for further advice tomorrow. However at this stage I feel proceeding with option one is the beat course of action. Yours sinceerly, Mark Parker.


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mark parker

To:ombudsman.sa.gov.au Tue, Jun 27 at 1:42 PM

Hi Anoon, The main questions I have relate to wheather my clinical psychologist is considered a medicical practicioner being registered woth AHPRA? I am also unclear as to who SAHLN are proposing would be the ultimate authority over redactions under the said legislative clauses & if there would be appleals processes? Of any incidences at the time of or vaguely relating to any if my admissions associated with the saod records I was charged with two criminal offenses. These were property damage & disorderly behaviour as when i burjed my own flag in victoria sq the flag pole was damaged. Such charges were both finalised in a cort of law. Due to the nature of my publicity stunt & symbolism of burning a flag, whilst on bail for the above charges I was investigated by counter terrorism & other divisions of law enforcment. However, after my court proceedings I was adviced by Southern Mental Health (SMH) that I was no longer subject to any further criminal investigations. The following appointment with SMH i was advised I was no longer elegable for their services due to having no relevant mental health conditions. My concern with the offer made by SAHLN is that if i accept the offer is that based on the the lack of integrity previously demonstrated in their history of loosly sigting sections of legislation to deny me access to my information - will continue without any processes of appeal to any such decisions. Even with processes of apeal i am finding that being made to fight for access to my personal information is having a greater impact on my mental health is having greater impact than anything in their records considering the fact that i already know the labels they have misdiagnosed me with. I am also afraid that due to the fact that I am unmedicated for my ADHD that although I have done my beat to write an thorough & accurtae personal submission that aspects of it may be misinterpreted in ways that may potebtially fall to my detrement in accessing my health records. In this sense I find it extremely dufficult to represent myself as I have little way of anticipating the infinate ways SALHN are likely to present carefuly selected 'evidence' to justify activating various sections of legislation to deny me access to my records at all costs inclding the detriment of my mental & physical health. Weighing up all factors it would seem that option 1 is the only way that I am likely to reach a fair & just decision as the the legitamacy of any attempt of SAHLN to apply various sections of legislation to the detraction of specific documents from my file. However, based on the lack of integrity demonstrated by SAHLN & their determination to avoid granting access to my records - I am affraid their legal team may have found some manipulative means of convincing the ombudsman that it is in my interest to deny access to my helath file. I appologise for my lengthy response. However, I did no anticipate that what would seem like the equivent to an out of court settlement would be bought to the table. Whilst unless otherwise directed, at this stage I am sticking with option 1 - I feel it is wise that I ask wheather it is nessessary or if there is anywhere I am able to obtain free legal advice on this matter? Yours sinceerly, Mark Parker.


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Kuch, Anoon (OMB) To:'mark parker' Tue, Jun 27 at 4:41 PM

OFFICIAL Dear Mr Parker, I am emailing to confirm receipt of your emails and confirm I will be in touch tomorrow to provide clarification on your queries. Sincerely, Anoon Kuch [she/her] Legal Officer


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Kuch, Anoon (OMB)

Wed, Jun 28 at 1:38 PM

OFFICIAL Good afternoon Mr Parker Regarding your queries, based on some research I have conducted I believe that a clinical psychologist falls under the scope of a registered medical practitioner as required in section 26(4)(d). As such your clinical psychologist or GP could be the medical practitioner you nominate. As such, it will then be up to the medical practitioner themselves as to whether they will disclose the documents to you in full or whether just discuss them with you. My apologies, I should have made my previous email clearer. If you choose the first option and request the Ombudsman to conduct the external review, he will review the matter considering the provisional determination issued and the further submissions made by the agency and yourself. If you are aggrieved by the determination, you may then apply to SACAT for a review of the Ombudsman’s determination. Alternatively, if you opt for the second option to have the documents issued to a medical practitioner of your choice, the Ombudsman will issue a revised provisional determination that will instead only consider the information that was been redacted by the agency to determine whether the exemptions have been applied accordingly (unlike the first provisional where the Ombudsman considered the documents in their entirety) as the agency has agreed to provide you with access to the rest of the information in the document. Following the provisional, you may make further submissions regarding the Ombudsman conclusion, however it should be noted that in this case there will be fairly limited time to make such submissions. Then a final determination will be issued and the agency will be directed to send the documents to your nominated medical practitioner. If you are aggrieved by the ombudsman’s determination you may also apply to SACAT for a review of his determination I acknowledge your concerns and as such advise you about the risks involved with both options

  1. In regards to the first option, as the review concerns considering the documents in their entirety, the Ombudsman may alter his position based on the new submissions provided, if this occurs, this could result in the ombudsman affirming or varying the agency’s determination, thus either denying access to the documents in full or allowing access but to parts of the documents.

  2. Concerning the second option, as the agency has agreed to give you access to the document in part, the Ombudsman will assess whether the redactions made by the agency are exempt information. This may result in the Ombudsman:

  • affirming the agency’s redactions = giving you partial access to the documents

  • varying the agency’s redactions = giving you partial access to the documents

  • reversing the agency’s redactions = giving you access to the document in full

As such, once you have been granted access to the documents your medical practitioner will decide to either disclose or discuss the documents with you. I hope this provides clarification on the circumstances. Please advise me by COB 29 June 2023 on which option you would like to procced with or if you have any questions or queries regarding the information provided. Sincerely, Anoon Kuch [she/her] Legal Officer


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mark parker To:Kuch, Anoon (OMB) Wed, Jun 28 at 5:17 PM

Thankyou Anoon, Given the lack of integrity SAHLN has consistently demonstrated throughout my FIO applications and in addition to the considerations covered in our previous communications I feel that Option 2 is a manipulative attempt by SAHLN to have various and possibly a broad range of documents redacted from my file via the vague application of various legislative clauses without any consideration given to submissions made on my behalf and their potential to provide broader context surrounding the potential significance of any such documents. In addition to the questions raised in OmbudsmanSA's provisional determination as to the lack of my genuine concern for my wellbeing, myself and both professional submissions provided suggest that is unnecessary to have my file released to a third party as I have adequate personal capacity and professional support to manage such information myself. However, if SAHLN have somehow managed to convince OmbudsmanSA otherwise my clinical psychologist could take on this role despite it being an unnecessary burden on us all. Whilst it is tempting to concede to their offer and I do not wish to burden OmbudsmanSA any more than necessary - I feel that the submissions on my behalf provide relevant contextual information with the potential to bring the integrity of the grounds and motivations underpinning any attempts of SAHLN's application of various sections to redaction of various documents from my file. Whilst redaction of some documents under certain clauses may be unavoidable it would seem that the only means of enabling OmbudsmanSA to make fair & just decisions in preventing the broad application of the legislation sighted in Option 2 being loosely applied in an out of context manner across a broad range of documents (which would fall to the detriment of my health in various ways highlighted in my personal submission including as an encumbrance to my ability to raise formal complaints against the agency) - is to advise OmbusmanSA to proceed with Option 1 in considering all submissions against it's provisional determination. Once again I apologies for any additional burden this decision has placed upon OmbudsmanSA. However, I can't help but feel that SAHLN's relentless disregard for my health and broader lack of integrity consistently demonstrated in relation to this matter has placed me in this position where there is no other choice. Yours sincerely, Mark Parker


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Kuch, Anoon (OMB) To:'mark parker' Wed, Jun 28 at 5:42 PM

OFFICIAL Dear Mr Parker, Thank you for your response, I will advise the Ombudsman that you have decided to procced with the first option. Accordingly, the Ombudsman will begin write his final determination. You will be advised of the determination and outcome as soon as practicable. Sincerely, Anoon Kuch [she/her] Legal Officer

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