Access to Personal Health Information
The Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act gives an individual the right to access their own personal health information, that has been collected, used or disclosed by a “custodian” as defined by the Act. Examples of a custodian are the Department of Health, the Regional Health Authorities, your family doctor, dentist, or pharmacist.
In seeking this access, the custodian has the right to charge a fee for providing this access, as defined under section 13 of the Act and under sections 9 through 13 of the General Regulation 2010-112.
Anyone can request access to their own information. A custodian might refuse your request, if their reason is allowed under section 14 of the Act. If you feel that your rights have not been respected, you may complain to the custodian directly or file a complaint with the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner. For contact information for the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner use the Related Links provided.
Generally, any request for access should be made in writing and submitted to the custodian that collected the information from you. So, if you want access to your prescription history, you would ask the doctor who prescribed the medicine or the pharmacy where you get your prescriptions filled.
Your request should be as clear and specific as possible to avoid unnecessary research, because you could be asked to pay a fee for time spent on your request. If you are not sure what information you really need, you can always call the custodian first to talk about your request, to help clarify and narrow your search.
The new Act is helpful because it means that people have a clear right to get access to their own personal health information and must be treated fairly when making a request for access.
The Act also helps custodians because it gives clear direction on when access must be given, what exceptions are allowed by law, and what fees can be charged in return for this service.
Changes To Fees
This document provides the rationale supporting changes to fees, associated revenue information, and the legal authority:
Unless otherwise specified, Fees exclude the harmonized sales tax (HST).
|Fee Description||Rate in $||Effective Date|
|Search and preparation fee||2010-09-01|
|First two hours||0.00||2010-09-01|
|Using conventional equipment||0.25/page||2010-09-01|
|Requiring any other type of equipment||Actual Cost/Coût réel||2010-09-01|
|Computer Programming and Data Processing Fee||2010-09-01|
|Internal programming or data processing||10.00/15 minutes||2010-09-01|
|External programming or data processing||Actual Cost/Coût réel||2010-09-01|
|Postal Service (regular)||0.00||2010-09-01|
|Courier Service||Actual Cost/Coût réel||2010-09-01|