Medical confidentiality key for interactions with health services and First Nations people

Michael Brown
Kalkadoon, Barahda Barna and Wangi man Michael Brown. Mr Brown works as a Sexual health project officer in the community of Cherbourg in western Queensland. Picture: Sam Yeomans.

Kalkadoon, Barahda Barna and Wangi Man Michael Brown had bad lived experiences with pharmacists and medical staff when he initially was trying to receive help for prescribed medication from two local pharmacies when he discovered he was HIV-positive.

At both of them, he was met with pointing, and staring, which had made him feel uncomfortable.

On both occasions, he asked for his script back and left the pharmacies – but an experience at the pharmacist in the Raintrees Shopping Centre in Cairns treated him with respect.

He met Dr Nicolette Roux, a GP at Wuchopperen Health Service in Cairns who advised him on confidentiality and then visited the Optimal Pharmacy Plus at Raintrees where the manager Belinda made sure he felt safe.

Mr Brown says First Nations people should not have to experience staff judging them when getting assistance for treatment and HIV medication and spoke to CAAMA’s Philippe Perez (audio below) about his experiences and the importance of confidentiality and privacy in medical settings.

Watch more of Michael’s story in the video below.

For more information on confidentiality and how to control your medical records when dealing with sexual health or other health issues, head to this link.