Frequently Asked Questions

What is FIPPA?

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) is legislation that gives the public right to request the records of public institutions, including hospitals as of January 1, 2012.  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.  Read the complete Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act online.

Is it always necessary to go through a formal process to access records?

No, the formal process is not always required.  In fact, as much as possible, Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare proactively discloses information on its public website to make accessing information convenient for you.  The information that you are seeking may be readily available, on the hospital's public website. 

When it is not available on the public website, consult the Directory of Records to ensure that we have the records you want, then download and complete the Access Request Form.  You must clearly identify the records to which access is requested and be sure to include your contact information together with the $5 application fee (non-refundable) payable to Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare.

How do I make a formal request for access to information under FIPPA?

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 fill out the Access to Information Request form, for which public institutions may charge an application fee of $5. (The $5 cheque would be made out to Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare).  Additional fees may apply relevant to the cost of research, gathering and sending the information requested.

What if I disagree with the results of a formal access to information request?

You have the right to appeal a decision of the Privacy officer to the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.  Appeals must be made within 30 days of when you receive the decision that you wish to appeal. You may contact the Commissioner at:  Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario at 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON M4W 1A8.

What is PHIPA?

The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) came into effect in Ontario, Canada on Nov. 1, 2004.  PHIPA prescribes rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information (PHI) in all types of health care settings, including hospitals, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, ambulance services, and nursing homes.  PHIPA applies to all regulated health professionals (doctors, nurses, allied health professionals) and to non-regulated health professionals, who provide health care for payment, such as acupuncturists, psychotherapists, and ultrasonographers.  PHIPA also gives patients rights related to access to their health records and how their health information is used.  PHIPA defines personal health information (PHI) as identifiable information relating to an individual's health and health care history.  For example, information contained in medical files such as diagnostic, treatment and care information, OHIP numbers, genetic information and other health record details.  To make a request related to Personal Health Information please email the Privacy Officer.

Does FIPPA provide access to Personal Health Information (PHI)?

No, personal health information is subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).  PHI at MAHC may only be used and disclosed in accordance with PHIPA.  For more information about personal health information in our Privacy Policy.

What can I do if access is denied?

You can appeal the decision.  FIPPA provides an individual with the right to appeal any decision by the head of an institution, including the decision to charge a fee.  The Information and Privacy Commissioner is authorized to conduct an independent review of any decision made by MAHC under FIPPA. 

Contact the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner:

2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Telephone:  416-326-3333 or toll-free 1-800-387-0073
Fax:  416-325-9195