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PHIPA: Permissible Disclosures. Judith Goldstein, Legal Counsel Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario PHIPA Summit November 3, 2005. Health & Safety.

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phipa permissible disclosures
PHIPA: Permissible Disclosures

Judith Goldstein, Legal CounselInformation and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario

PHIPA SummitNovember 3, 2005

health safety
Health & Safety
  • A HIC is permitted to disclose PHI where necessary to eliminate or reduce a significant risk of serious bodily harm to a person or group of persons. (s.40)
  • This type of disclosure can be made despite an individual’s express instructions to the contrary.
  • PHIPA conflict provisions (s.7 of the Act and s. 1(5) and s.5 of O.Reg.329/04)
  • In the event of a conflict PHIPA prevails. (s.7(2))
conflicts continued
Conflicts continued …
  • There is no conflict unless it is not possible to comply with both PHIPA and its regulations and any other Act or its regulations. (7(3))
  • For the purposes of s.7(3) of the Act, if an Act etc. says that a CUD may be taken and another says it may not be taken, then “it is not possible to comply with both”. (s.1(5) of the Regulation)
health protection and promotion act
Health Protection and Promotion Act
  • No person shall disclose identifying information about a person in respect of whom an application, order etc. is made in respect of a communicable disease, reportable disease etc. (s.39(1) HPPA)
  • S.39(1) does not apply to a limited list of exceptions e.g. you can disclose on consent or for the purpose of public health administration.
reg 965 under the public hospitals act
Reg. 965 under the Public Hospitals Act
  • Except as required by law or as provided in s.22 of this Regulation, no hospital shall permit any person to remove, inspect or receive information from records of PHI.
  • The exceptions set out in s.22, 22.1, 23 and 23.2 of the Reg. 965 are fairly limited and do not include many of the permissive disclosures set out in PHIPA.
mandatory disclosures
Mandatory Disclosures
  • S.43(1)(h) permits a HIC to disclose if permitted or required by law etc. It sounds discretionary, but…
  • S.6(3)(b) provides that a provision of PHIPA that permits a HIC to disclose PHI does not relieve the HIC from a legal requirement to disclose the information
mandatory disclosures continued
Mandatory disclosurescontinued…
  • Mandatory Gunshot Wounds Reporting Act, 2005
  • Operative sections in force as of Sept. 1, 2005
  • It imposes an obligation on public hospitals and prescribed health care facilities to report to police when they treat a person for a gunshot wound.