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Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
July 26, 2012

Information and Privacy Commissioner Ed Ring Releases Report under the
Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)

Commissioner Ed Ring has released his Report PH-2012-002 under the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) [pronounced fee-ah]. In this report, the commissioner investigated and reported on a complaint that the fee charged to an individual by Eastern Health for access to a copy of that individual’s personal health information was not reasonable, and therefore not in accordance with PHIA.

The complainant sought access to a copy of a diagnostic test he had undergone at a local hospital, consisting of a single page. Eastern Health, in accordance with its fee schedule, informed the complainant that a copy of the record would cost $50.00 plus tax. The complainant felt that this fee was unreasonable and complained to this office.  Under section 57 of the Personal Health Information Act, a custodian is permitted to charge a “reasonable fee”. The commissioner found that the $50.00 fee to provide individuals with their own personal health information was unreasonable and recommended that individuals be charged a maximum fee of $25.00 for requests of up to 50 pages, which fee would include various tasks associated with searching for and providing access to the requested information. After the first 50 pages, the commissioner recommended a photocopy fee of no more than $0.25 per page. The commissioner also strongly recommended that personal health information be provided to individuals free of charge at the point of care, except where the requested information is not easily located or voluminous in nature. Further, the commissioner recommended that the fee be waived or substantially reduced in all cases where it truly represents a barrier to access.

To view the report in its entirety, please go to www.oipc.nl.ca/PHIAprivacyreports.htm

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Media contact:
Ed Ring
Information and Privacy Commissioner

2012 07 26                                    2:55 p.m.

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