Health and Community Services
September 27, 2017

Minister Haggie Announces Conclusion of Statutory Review of Personal Health Information

The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services announced today that the first statutory review of the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) has concluded. The review was conducted by the Statutory Review Committee whose members include Chair Dr. David Morgan, Dr. Daryl Pullman, Jeannie House, and Marian Crowley. The committee’s report is available at external link icon

PHIA establishes rules that must be followed when collecting, using and disclosing individuals’ confidential personal health information. The first statutory review of the legislation began in December 2016. The review committee managed a three-round written submission process, which garnered more than 20 submissions along with approximately 80 respondents from the public via a web-based survey.

Based on its work, the review committee found that PHIA is not a fundamentally flawed piece of legislation in need of a major overhaul. In fact, many of the written submissions spoke to how PHIA has improved the protection of personal health information in Newfoundland and Labrador. The report states that PHIA simply needs some fine tuning, and the recommendations represent minor corrections.

Next steps for the department will involve the careful consideration of all recommendations to ensure that amendments to the existing act strengthen measures around individual privacy and confidentiality. Amendments are anticipated to be brought to the House of Assembly in the fall of 2018.

“Thank you to the members of the Statutory Review Committee for their hard work. I also want to thank those people who participated in the submission process. The purpose of this review was to find ways to improve and strengthen the Act. I feel that through these recommendations we will be able to do just that. This important piece of legislation is focused on ensuring the appropriate safeguards are in place to protect people’s privacy and confidentially, while also allowing for the secure flow of information.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“The OIPC appreciates the efforts of Minister Haggie and his staff in arranging and supporting the work of the PHIA Statutory Review Committee. The committee conducted a thorough and transparent review. The end result is a comprehensive report with recommendations that offers the province an opportunity to further strengthen the protection and privacy of personal health information. The OIPC looks forward to providing input to the department on prioritization of the committee’s recommendations and collaborating with key stakeholders on new safeguards or other measures as a result of amendments to the PHIA.”
Donovan Molloy
Information and Privacy Commissioner

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Media contact
Emily Timmins
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 693-1292

Donovan Molloy, QC
Information and Privacy Commissioner

2017 09 27                              11:45 a.m.