You have the right to access and obtain copies of all your health and medical records.
Personal health information access and privacy is governed by provincial and territorial legislation in Canada. Each province or territory has its own law to govern this information, as well as its own privacy commissioner or ombudsperson. These laws set out your rights to access your information and your right to privacy.
Because health and medical record information is governed at the provincial level, the types of records and how far back they go varies depending on where you are in Canada. Many provinces and territories now have an online health portal that allows citizens to access some of their records.
My Health Information Co-op offers the first national service in Canada. It allows you to add information from any provincial, international, and non-government sources to build a complete health history.
WHAT’S ALREADY AVAILABLE TO CANADIANS
In Canada, health records are available from multiple sources, including patient portals provided by Provinces, Health Regions, Hospitals, and private sector lab and imaging service providers. The Co-op has undertaken research to help Canadians access their health records through these sources. This research can be accessed by creating a Free Account.
3 Ways to get your Health Records
There are three ways you can request information not available through patient portals:
- Informal requests: You can get copies of your health records if you simply contact the facility where you received the service and ask. They may refuse or ask you to provide more information to help them find your health record.
- Formal requests: You can make a formal request under provincial or territorial Freedom of Information or health record legislation. This process might require you to provide when, where, and who provided the service. Provincial legislation compels facilities that hold your personal information to hand it over if you ask.
- Join the co-op and use our automated request process to obtain your information.
LEGAL WOES? MAYBE WE CAN HELP WITH YOUR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST.
Have a question about FOI law as it applies to a particular situation in your life? Suspect your rights have been infringed? It’s a good thing we have legal counsel John Heaney on our team. John has decades of experience with Freedom of Information. Submit your question below, and we’ll see what we can do to help. Please provide as much specific information in your query as possible to help us help you efficiently.
The Canadian Government's National Personal Health Record
Two years away
Over the past 20 years, Canada Health Infoway has worked with the provinces and territories to create the systems needed to share medical records. Canada Health Infoway created the ACCESS 2022 Alliance in 2018 with the goal of providing a national PHR system by 2022.
My Health Information Co-op is offering a universal, patient-focused personal health record service now. As a non-government, not-for-profit, and cooperative organization, we are able to put patients first in everything we do and work across provincial and territorial lines.
You have the right to your information and your health, and we don’t think you should have to wait any longer. Join today to help us work towards better health outcomes for all Canadians, through access to and understanding of health records.