Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA)
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) gives individuals the right to access information under the control of government institutions. While previously applicable to municipalities, universities, and colleges, the Act was extended to include hospitals in January 2012.
Now, any member of the public has a right to request access to any record within the custody and control of the hospital. At the same time, legislation balances a culture of openness and transparency with the need to protect the personal information of individuals.
FIPPA is different from the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), which governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal health information (see further information about PHIPA below).
St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph (SJHCG) is committed to being transparent and accountable to our community and stakeholders, which, of course, includes you. We will provide appropriate access to our records, although, in some cases, we will not be able to provide access to certain records, or parts of records, because the Act includes limited protections for information holdings. For example, SJHCG may be required to protect the rights of another person or organization.
Note that FIPPA does not apply to:
- Records in the Hospital’s/Health Centre’s custody or control before January 1, 2007;
- Foundation operations and donor records;
- Labour relations and employment-related records leading to agreements;
- Research and teaching materials;
- Patient records/personal health information.
Getting the information you want
Your first step: Information on our website
As a first step, be sure to explore our website. Many different types of records are posted on our website, including information about quality of care and hospital expenses.
Personal Health Information
To make a request for personal health information (health records), you can:
- contact our Health Information Management Department at ext. 4662
- make a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request using the process below.
Formal Freedom of Information (FOI) Request Process
You can request information from SJHCG using the Access Request Application Form. You can:
- Download and print the form
- contact ext. 4662 to have a form mailed to you
Once complete, the form and the required application fee of $5.00 (in the form of a cheque payable to St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph) needs to be mailed to:
VP Finance and Information Services
St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph
100 Westmount Road
Guelph, ON N1H 5H8
Important information to note:
- We cannot accept email or fax requests.
- The $5.00 application fee only covers the initial request for information. Depending on the nature of your request, additional fees may be charged.
- When making a request, please be sure to identify the specific record(s) or personal information you are seeking. It is also helpful if you can specify dates or a time period for the records/information you are requesting. Keeping the scope of your request narrow and specific will help us complete your request in a timely and satisfactory manner.
- SJHCG is committed to meeting the 30-day time limit within which we are expected to complete requests. Depending on the nature of the request, it could be completed sooner than 30 days. However, some requests may require us to contact additional parties, and those requests may take longer than 30 days.
- Proper identification will be required before records can be released.
- SJHCG can provide an electronic copy of the records on a CD-ROM. Please note that a $10 fee will be charged for this service.
Personal Health Information and Privacy Act (PHIPA)
Hospitals have been covered under the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) since 2004. PHIPA governs the collection, use, and disclosure of personal health information about individuals to protect the confidentiality of that information. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) governs all other types of information.
Under PHIPA, an individual has a right of access to personal health information about themselves, subject to limited and specific exceptions as set in the Act. PHIPA also provides an individual with a right to require the correction of personal health information about themselves, also subject to limited and specific exceptions set out in the Act.
In addition, PHIPA allows for a substitute decision-maker to access records of personal health information on behalf of another individual in defined circumstances.
Requests or complaints with respect to personal health records and questions or concerns about the privacy of your personal information can be directed to the SJHCG Health Information Management Supervisor/Privacy Officer at ext. 4662.
Members of the media
We welcome requests from members of the media. Please contact ext. 4403 or firstname.lastname@example.org.