Below are questions that are commonly asked regarding the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act as it applies to LHSC.
Question 1: What is FIPPA and when does it apply to hospitals?
FIPPA stands for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. As of January 1, 2012, hospitals are designated as institutions under FIPPA so that, after that date, anyone has the right to make a request for access to a wide range of information held by hospitals. For more information on the purpose, records included and excluded under the legislation visit the Government of Ontario website.
Question 2: How do I find out what information LHSC has?
A Directory of Records is available online and contains a list of categories of records and personal information held by LHSC.
Question 3: Do I always need to make a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) access request in order to obtain hospital information?
Some hospital records may already be available to you without making a request in writing under FIPPA. Browse LHSC's Publicly Available Information webpage or contact the FOI Office if you have a question about whether the information may be available without submitting a formal FOI Request.
Question 4: If I make a request for information is my identity protected?
If you make a request for information your identity must not be disclosed to individuals outside of that organization without your consent. Within the organization, your identity may only be disclosed to employees who need the information to perform the duties of their job, and that disclosure must be necessary and proper to carry out the organization’s functions.
Question 5: Is the requestor required to provide a reason for his or her request?
LHSC is permitted to ask for the purpose of a request if this will assist in identifying the specific records that the requestor is looking for. However, the requestor has no obligation to provide reasons.
Question 6: Can the purpose of the request be used to justify denying access to records?
No. The purpose of a FOI request is irrelevant. The requester has a right of access under FIPPA and the purpose of their exercise of that right cannot be used to deny access.
Question 7: When can I expect a response to a FOI access request?
In most cases, you will receive a written response to your FOI access request within 30 days after the form and fees are received. In some cases, it may take longer to receive a response, depending on the size and complexity of the request.
Question 8: How do I appeal a decision?
LHSC must provide a notice in writing to the requestor if your request for information is denied. Requestors have a right to appeal a decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario. The IPC’s website provides more information on how to make an appeal.