January 19, 2009
What is FIPPA?
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 corporate records. The Act applies to all records that came into the custody or under 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;
- To provide the public a right of access to hospital information subject to limited exemptions; and
- To protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held be hospital and to provide individuals with a right of access to that information.
Does FIPPA provide access to personal Health Information (PHI)?
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 Health records 905-768-3311, ext. 1177.
What is personal information?
The personal information that we collect may include for example, your name, date of birth, address, email address, employment, education and volunteer history as well as certifications and credentials. Personal information may also include medical and health information.
Occasionally, we collect personal information about you from other sources if we have obtained your consent to do so or if the law permits.
What is a Personal Information Bank?
The Personal Information Bank (PIB) is a collection of personal information that is organized and capable of being retrieved using an individual’s name or an identifying number assigned to the individual.
Make a Freedom of Information (FOI) Request
If you are making a formal request for access to information or access to personal information or to have your personal information corrected, you must follow these steps:
- Check the Directory of Records to make sure West Haldimand General Hospital maintains the information that you need.
- Download and complete the Access to Information Request . You must clearly identify the records you are seeking. Be sure to include your contact information.
- Prepare a cheque or money order for $5.00 payable to “West Haldimand General Hospital”.
- submit your request, together with the non-refundable $5.00 fee to:
West Haldimand General Hospital
75 Parkview Road
Hagersville, ON NOA 1HO
Once we receive your application, we will send you written acknowledgment of your request. If you have any questions call our FOI and Privacy Office 905-768-3311, ext 4002; or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that the formal process (above) is not always required. In fact, as much as possible, WHGH is proactively posting information on its public website [www.whgh.ca] – Statement of Information Practices and –about us -transparency) to make accessing information convenient. The information that you are seeking may be available on the hospital’s public website. When it is not available on the public website, a formal request is made.
FOI Request fees and costs
The $5.00 application fee is mandatory and non-refundable. Under FIPPA, WHGH may charge additional fees to process your request. These may include:
- search fee of $7.50 per quarter hour ($30.00 per hour) for searching for and preparing a record for disclosure,
- photocopying charges of $0.20 per page,
- other charges, if incurred will be provide in an invoice.
You will be advised if the processing fees will exceed $25.00. 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.
Decisions related to Freedom of Information requests may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Appealing the results of FOI requests
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 information to the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
- a copy of your original request
- a copy of the West Haldimand General Hospital response
- an appeal fee of $10 for personal information requests and $25 for general information requests
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8