The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) is provincial legislation that applies to all Ontario hospitals effective January 1, 2012.
FIPPA does not apply to health records – for information about how to request a health record, please see How to Request Your Health Record or Third Party Requests for Health Records.
What is FIPPA?
The Act gives individuals the right to request access to the general records maintained by the North Bay Regional Health Centre, and records containing their own personal information. It also requires us to protect the privacy of an individual’s personal information. (Note: Personal information does not include personal health information. More information about personal health information can be found in the Privacy section of our website.
The three key principles of the FIPPA are:
- public access to information, and
- the protection of personal privacy
- correction of personal information
Additional information about FIPPA can be found on the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s (IPC) website. The IPC also offers a mini-guide on FIPPA.
What does “public access to information” mean?
Anyone can make a request for the general records of North Bay Regional Health Centre, but only you can request access to your own personal information.
What types of information can I request under FIPPA?
- General Records: Under FIPPA, you may request “general records” relating to administrative, financial and operational functions of North Bay Regional Health Centre. Please see our Directory of General Records for a listing of the types of general records that we maintain. View our Directory of General Records.
- Personal Information: You also have the right to request (1) access to, and (2) correction of, your own “personal information” held by North Bay Regional Health Centre. Please refer to our Directory of Personal Information Banks for more detail on the types of records that may contain personal information. View our Directory of Personal Information Banks.
Can I make a FIPPA request for records of my care and treatment?
No. Patient records cannot be requested under FIPPA – they are records personal health information and continue to be governed by the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).
To request copies of patient records, please contact our Clinical Records Department.
More information about personal health information can be found in the Privacy section of our website.
Are there any other types of information that I may not be able to access under FIPPA?
Although most information is accessible, FIPPA provides some exclusions and exemptions to the right of access.
Examples of records excluded from access under FIPPA are:
- personal health information/patient records;
- labour relations and employment records;
- religious records;
- records relating to the hospital foundation or charitable donations;
- clinical trials;
- research and teaching materials;
- records prior to January 1, 2007.
Is a request under FIPPA the only way that I can get information?
A formal request under FIPPA may not be necessary. We publish information on the Accountability section of the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s website, so you may wish to check there to see if the information you are looking for is publicly available.
Other information may be available by making an informal request. You may wish to contact the Freedom of Information (FOI) Coordinator to ask if a formal request is necessary.
How do I make a request for access to information under FIPPA?
- Your request must be made in writing.
- You can complete the North Bay Regional Health Centre request form, or write a letter stating that you are requesting information under FIPPA.
- Be as specific as possible about the type of information you are seeking. If your request is not clear, there may be delays in the processing of your request.
- Enclose the non-refundable application fee of $5.00. This application fee must accompany all requests made under FIPPA. Cheques or money orders are to be made to: North Bay Regional Health Centre.
- If you are requesting personal information, you may be asked to present valid identification.
- Mail or deliver the completed request form or letter, plus the $5 application fee to:
Freedom of Information Office (FIPPA Request)
North Bay Regional Health Centre
50 College Drive
North Bay, ON P1B 5A4
If you have any questions about the access or correction request process, please contact:
Freedom of Information Office at 705-474-8600, extension 3320 or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
How long will it take to receive the information?
In most cases, we will provide you with a decision letter within 30 days of the date we receive your request. This decision letter will notify you whether or not your request will be granted, and to advise you if there are any fees associated with your request.
However, in some circumstances this 30-day time period can be extended. We will notify you if a time extension is required.
The Freedom of Information Office may need to contact you to clarify your request in order for us to properly identify the record(s) requested. If clarification is required, the time period for us to respond to your request might be extended.
Will I only have to pay the $5.00 application fee?
In addition to collecting the $5.00 mandatory fee, there are additional search and processing fees. Records will only be released after full payment of the fees has been received.
Note: The $5.00 application fee does not apply to requests for health records. Please see How to Request Your Health Record or Third Party Requests for Health Records.
What additional fees can be charged?
Fee Schedule – FIPPA Requests
||Must accompany your request. The fee is mandatory and cannot be waived.
||Required to search and retrieve information.
||$7.50 / 15 minutes / person (re: general records)
||May be needed to develop a program to retrieve information.
||$15 / 15 minutes
||Photocopying and Computer
||$0.20 / page
||$10 / disk
||Shipping & Delivery costs
Note: See the fee schedule for requests for health records.
Is there an appeal process?
You have the right to appeal to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario any decision made in regard to your request for access to information. An appeal must be made within 30 days after you receive the decision letter.
Appeals must be made in writing to:
Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
There is an appeal fee:
- $25 if the appeal relates to access to a general record
- $10 if the appeal relates to access to personal information
For more information on how to make an appeal, please visit the IPC’s website and/or refer to the IPC brochure on the appeal process.