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SJHH / About/ Freedom Of Information/ Submitting an FOI Request

Submitting an FOI Request

Submitting an FOI Request

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton (SJHH) is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information and places the highest value on openness, transparency and accountability.

In many cases the information you seek may already be available, for example, on the Hospital’s website. Before making a formal request for access to information under the Act, please check our website for more information regarding SJHH Accountability, Quality & Performance.

Another way to assess what information is available is to consult our Directory of Records and Personal Information Bank. This inventory of records is available online to assist you in identifying records maintained by the hospital, that may be of interest to you.  Before submitting a request for access to records under FIPPA, please consult our Directory of Records to ensure that the Hospital holds the type of information that you are seeking.

Request Procedures

When an informal request for access to information or to correct your personal information is not possible, you can make a formal request to St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, FOI Office. You can download the request form here. Although you are not required to use the form provided, we recommend that you do so to help ensure that your request is processed as quickly as possible.

There are three requirements for a formal request for information. The Hospital will only process your request if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The request must be made in writing. You may complete and mail in the Request Form. If you do not use the Request Form, make sure your written request states that the request is being made under FIPPA.
  2. The $5.00 application fee for your written request (cheque or cash) has been received by the FOI Office (make cheques payable to: "St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton"; cash payments should be hand delivered to the Freedom of Information Office.
    Freedom of Information Office
    50 Charlton Avenue East
    Attn: FOI Office
    Do not send cash payment by mail.
  3. You have provided sufficient detail to enable an experienced employee of the Hospital, with a reasonable amount of effort, to identify the information/record you are requesting.

Please mail all requests for access to information to the attention of the FOI Coordinator:

Bonnie Hagan, Freedom of Information Coordinator
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario
L8N 4A6

The FOI Coordinator will contact you if your request is deficient or you need to clarify the information you are requesting. The FOI Coordinator will need to verify your identity before processing requests for your personal information.

The Hospital must make every reasonable effort to respond to your request within 30 calendar days from the date the Hospital receives your request. However, there are circumstances under the Act where the Hospital is permitted to extend the time limit beyond the 30 days.

The Hospital will, within the applicable time limit, issue you a decision letter regarding whether or not your request will be granted. If you disagree with the decision, you may appeal the decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The Hospital will only make corrections to factual information about you, for example: an incorrectly spelled name, an incorrect address, an incorrect birth date, a change of marital status, etc. If you are aware of incorrect personal information about you in a Hospital record, you may wish to request that the information be corrected. It is recommended that you begin by making an informal request by contacting the FOI Coordinator.

Fee Schedule

The standard fee for submitting an access request is $5.00 You are legally required to pay this fee when you submit an access request. The law does not allow this fee to be waived, even if the record you have requested cannot be released to you or does not exist. 

Additional Feeds

If you request access to information that is not your own personal information, the following fees apply:

  1. For photocopies and computer printouts, 20 cents per page;
  2. For floppy disks, $10 for each disk;
  3. For manually searching a record, $7.50 for each 15 minutes spent by any person;
  4. For preparing a record for disclosure, including severing a part of the record, $7.50 for each 15 minutes spent by any person;
  5. For developing a computer program or other method of producing a record from machine readable record, $15 for each 15 minutes spent by any person; and
  6. The costs - including computer costs - covered under items 1 to 5 that the Hospital incurs in locating, retrieving, processing and copying the record if those costs are specified in an invoice that the Hospital has received. 

If you request access to your own personal information, the same fees apply except 3 and 4 above, associated with manually searching a record and preparing it for disclosure.

If you request a correction to your own personal information, you must pay the $5 application fee only.

If fees associated with your request are estimated to be $100 or more, the Hospital will require a 50 percent deposit before performing further work on your request. The Hospital will provide you with enough information to make an informed decision on whether or not to pay the 50 percent deposit and have the Hospital proceed with your request.

When you are to be granted access to requested records, notice of that decision will be mailed to you, with a detailed breakdown of the applicable fees. The Hospital will then disclose all releasable records to you when you pay all of the applicable fees (or the balance where a deposit was provided).

Waiver of Fees

The Hospital may waive all or part of the fees related to a request if it is fair and equitable to do so. The burden is on the requester to demonstrate why it would be fair and equitable to waive the fees. When requesting a waiver of fees, be aware that the Hospital may only consider the factors listed in subsection 57(4) of the Act.

You may appeal any decision under the Act, including one on fees to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

*For fee calculation purposes, “floppy disk” includes analogous contemporary media such as CDs and DVDs.

Appeals

Any decision made by the Chief Privacy Officer or the FOI Coordinator related to your formal request may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (the “Commissioner”). 
IPC website

An appeal must be made with the Commissioner within 30 days after you receive notice of the decision you wish to appeal.

The fee payable to the Commissioner when filing an appeal is:

  1. $10, if you requested access to your own personal information;
  2. $10, if you requested a correction to your own personal information; and
  3. $25, if you requested access to any information besides your own personal information

Contact

Angelique Hamilton, CIPP/C
Chief Privacy Officer
St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton
50 Charlton Avenue East
Hamilton, Ontario L8N 4A6
Telephone: 905.522.1155x35088
Fax: 905-308-7211
email Angelique Hamilton