Niagara Health has established the Privacy and Freedom of Information (FOI) Office to coordinate requests and matters related to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The Privacy FOI office oversees the administration of personal information access requests liaises with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information and the retention, destruction, security and accuracy of personal information; it requires hospitals to maintain certain data banks; it applies to all existing hospital corporate records. The Act applies to all corporate records that come into the custody or control of the hospital on or after January 1, 2007. Upon request, certain records must be made available in accordance with the Act.
FIPPA has two main purposes;
No, personal health information is subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). If you are seeking access or correction to your health records, please contact the Health Information Management Department..
Read the full Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act on Ontario’s e-Laws web site.
The definition of “personal information” in FIPPA is recorded information about an identifiable individual, including:
The FIPPA definition of a "personal information bank" is a collection of personal information that is organized and capable of being retrieved using an individual’s name or an identifying number or particular number assigned to the individual.
If you are making a formal request for access to general information or access to personal information or to have your personal information corrected, you must follow these steps:
Once we receive your application, we will send you written acknowledgement of your request. If you require the application form or the information requested in a different format (e.g. larger type) please let us know by contacting our office. If you have any questions email our FOI & Privacy Office, or call 905-378-4647 ext. 44475.
Note that the formal process (above) is not always required. In fact, as much as possible, Niagara Health is proactively posting information on its public website to make accessing information convenient. The information that you are seeking may be readily available, on the hospital’s public website. When it is not available on the public website, a formal request is made.
The $5.00 application fee is for the formal written request. Under FIPPA, Niagara Health may charge additional fees to process your request. These may include;
Additional fees may apply relevant to the cost of research, gathering and sending the information requested. For further information on fees and costs please refer to the Fee Schedule (PDF).
You will be advised if the processing fees will exceed $25.00 and you will be asked to provide a deposit of 50% if the estimated processing cost exceeds $100. We will notify you if any exemptions under FIPPA apply to the records you are requesting so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not to pay the deposit.
You may request that the fees be waived. The burden is on the requester to provide proof to support a fee waiver. Niagara Health may only consider the factors outlined under FIPPA subsection 56(4).
Decisions related to Freedom of information requests may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Any decision we issue related to Freedom of Information requests under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), including the decision to charge a fee, may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner within 30 days from date of receipt of the letter denying your request.
How to submit an appeal
Send the following to the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario:
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For access or correction to your health records, please contact Health Records