Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) provides a public right of access to information held by hospitals, provides protection of personal information not regulated by Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), regulates how hospitals manage personal information and provides a review process for people who disagree with decisions under the Act. FIPPA applies to hospitals as of January 1, 2012, but is retrospective to January 1, 2007.

The Act requires that hospitals protect the privacy of an individuals personal information existing in hospital records. It also gives individuals the right to request access to hospital information, including most general records and records containing their own personal information not regulated by PHIPA.

The following links contain additional information regarding the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act.

Directory of Records

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act requires Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBHRSC) to maintain a current Directory of Records that includes a list of Personal Information Banks. A Directory of Records describes the types of General Records maintained by TBRHSC and Personal Information Banks describes a list of personal information held by TBRHSC. Personal information includes any information that may identify an individual. Personal privacy is protected under FIPPA, however specific records within the Directory of Records may be subject to release under FIPPA. The Directory of Records and Personal Information Banks are reviewed and updated annually.

Making an Access Request

Informal

There is no requirement to invoke the formal provisions of FIPPA in order to obtain information. Informal inquires are welcome and will continue to be dealt with by the appropriate department heads. FIPPA does not pertain to personal health information which is governed by PHIPA and personal employee information which in most cases is excluded under FIPPA. Continue to contact Health Records about accessing or correcting personal health information and Human Resources about accessing or correcting personal employment information.

Formal

Most hospital records will be released upon request, unless there are particular reasons to restrict them. A list of all exclusions and exemptions can be found within the Act.

A request for access to information may be made by completing an Information Access/Correction Request Form. This form is not mandatory but recommended as a guideline for the details required. Written requests that refer to the Act will also be also accepted. Each formal Request Form or written request must be submitted with a non-refundable $5.00 application fee.

A formal request for information under FIPPA is not a request for, or correction of, personal health information governed by PHIPA or personal employment information excluded under FIPPA. Continue to contact Health Records or Human Resources as appropriate.

Forward completed forms along with the non-refundable $5.00 application fee (cheques payable to: Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre) to:

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Freedom of Information Coordinator
c/o Health Records
980 Oliver Rd.
Thunder Bay, ON
P7B 6V4

When a request is submitted, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre will respond within 30 days. This response will either provide access to the requested record, or notify you that the information cannot be released under specific provisions of the Act. If Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre requires a time extension to prepare the response, you will be notified of this within 30 calendar days of making your request.

For more general information or inquires about FIPPA you may also contact the Freedom of Information Coordinator at deroovem@tbh.net or (807) 684-6641.

Fees related to Freedom of Information Requests

Additional fees may apply based on the processing and searching procedures required in retrieving a request. Records will only be released after full payment of the processing and search fees has been received. Where it is anticipated that the fees will be over $100 you will be contacted by the FOI Coordinator and a deposit of 50% will be required to secure the retrieval of the records. Refunds will be issued if the deposit exceeds the actual costs incurred.

Fee Explanation Rate
Application Fee Must accompany your request. The fee is mandatory and cannot be waived. $5
Search Time Required to search and retrieve information. $7.50/15 minutes/person
Computer Programming May be needed to develop a program to retrieve information. $15/15 minutes
Printouts Photocopying and Computer $0.20/page
Disks Computer $10/Disc
Additional Shipping and Delivery Costs As required
Appeal Fee Payable to the Information and Privacy Commissioner $25