Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions we hear from people looking for their health records. In time, we will update these FAQ to reflect additional questions members and potential members are asking. You can help by contributing a question by using our contact form.

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FAQ

Provincial legislation compels care providers and facilities that hold your personal information to hand it over if you ask

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 live in Canada. Many provinces and territories now have an online health portal that allows citizens to access some of their records. The Co-op provides information about the types of information each province and territorial government makes available to their citizens. Unfortunately, unlike the Co-op, Provinces and Territories only provide access to the health records where you currently live.

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

  1. You can make an informal request to get copies of your health records. For example, simply contact your physician or health authority and ask. They may refuse or ask you to provide more information to help them find your health record.
  2. 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. You can join the co-op and you can request your MSP Billing History using our automated request process. Your MSP Billing History will contain a record of each service event the government paid for, who they paid, the amount paid and a description of what service was provided. The Co-op will help you request a copy of any service event in your MSP Billing history.

Visit our Get Your Records page for ‘do-it-yourself’ guidance in obtaining health records.  Our Know Your Rights page has a table comparing the health records available from different Canadian jurisdictions

Control of who can access your health records depends on who holds them and their format.

You can let the government keep and control access to health records; in which case they determine what records you can view and how you can use them. Unfortunately, government control does not mean others can not access your health records.  Here is an example of patient information being sold without your knowledge or permission. 

Alternatively, you can control access by taking ownership and possession of your health records.

When you take ownership and possession of your health records, you will need to store them somewhere. You can keep them in paper format (i.e. PDF) or electronic format that makes them searchable and usable.. The people that keep their records in a paper format usually store them in a briefcase or filing cabinet. Others upload a copy of their records to a service like DropBox or Google Drive. When needed, they will share their information by fax or as email attachments.

The Co-op lets you exercise your ownership rights by giving you possession and control of your health information.

Current government access is limited to view-only access. The government decides what records are important to include in their systems and limit the time frame that is available to view. For example, many government health records show only the most recent seven years of information. Older information can be deleted without your knowledge or consent. Additionally, provinces and territories provide Canadians with access to health records where they currently reside. The Co-op gives you ownership, possession, and control of your health records no matter the jurisdiction they exist. Co-op members can exercise all the privileges that are afforded by ownership, possession, and control.

My Health Information Co-op takes the security of member information very seriously. After all, as Co-op members, we all want our personal information safeguarded from tampering. The Co-op achieves this in several ways.

  • There are mechanisms to audit access to the site and monitor non-authorized attempts to access the site.
  • The transmission of data, storage and communications between members is encrypted.
  • The Co-op’s security includes an endpoint firewall and malware scanner.
  • Our Threat Defense includes firewall rules, malware signatures and malicious IP address identification to keep our website safe.
  • The Co-op has deployed a suite of additional features to protect member information with the most comprehensive security option available.
  • Additionally, we undertake regular cybersecurity audits by independent cybersecurity experts to evaluate and test site security.

Members have lots of reasons to feel their information is secure.

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