Know Your Health Record Rights

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

SERVICE PROVIDER ELECTRONIC PERSONAL HEALTH RECORD SERVICE (EPHR) RECORD TYPE (HARD COPY, DIGITAL FILE, ONLINE) RECORD SOURCES WHO CAN REQUEST RECORDS TIMELINESS HISTORY
My Health Information Co-op OmniHealth Vault You choose National and International Anyone Updated annually All available records
Government of B.C. Various services available Availability determined by government B.C. sources only B.C. residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of Alberta MyHealth Records &MyAHS Connect Availability determined by government Alberta sources only Alberta residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of Saskatchewan MySaskHealthRecord Availability determined by government Saskatchewan sources only Saskatchewan residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of Manitoba eChart Availability determined by government Manitoba sources only Manitoba residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of Ontario MyChart Availability determined by government Ontario sources only Ontario residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of Québec Québec Health Booklet Availability determined by government Québec sources only Québec residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador HEALTHe NL Availability determined by government Newfoundland and Labrador sources only Newfoundland and Labrador residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of Nova Scotia SHARE(Secure Health Access Record) Availability determined by government Nova Scotia sources only Nova Scotia residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of the Northwest Territories N.W.T. HealthNet Availability determined by government Northwest Territories sources only Northwest Territories residents only Some sources immediately Limited time frame, some to most recent 7 years
Government of New Brunswick None N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Government of P.E.I None N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Government of the Yukon None N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

3 Legal Ways to get your Health Records

There are three ways you can request information not available through provincial services:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Delegate: Join the co-op and we’ll request your information on your behalf under provincial or territorial Freedom of Information or health record legislation.

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.

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The Canadian Government's National Personal Health Record

Two years away

In order to create a national patient health record system like those already available in other countries, the Canadian Government established CanadaHealth Infoway in the early 1990s.

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.

Why wait?

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.