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SJHH / About/ Freedom Of Information

Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy

Please note that due to COVID-19, there will be a delay in the receipt and processing of FIPPA requests. 

Public hospitals in Ontario have been subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) since 2012. Under FIPPA, individuals may request access to any records in the custody or control of the hospital. Generally, FIPPA applies to any information outside of health records subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). St Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton will disclose information, subject to limited and specific exceptions set out in FIPPA.

St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton values openness, transparency and accountability, and we are committed to protecting the privacy of all personal information. Some information 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 as well as our Directory of Records (DoR) to ensure that St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton keeps the type of information you’re looking for. Some records may be available on our website and/or are routinely available from hospital departments, and you may not be required to submit a request to gain access.

Records not available under FIPPA:

  • Personal health information (PHI) or patient records – Please use this form for PHI requests
  • Quality of care information
  • Ecclesiastical records of an affiliated church or religious organization
  • Records relating to the operations of a hospital foundation 
  • Administrative records of regulated health professional
  • Charitable donations made to the hospital
  • Records relating to labour relations, employment matters, physician appointments / privileges 
  • Certain records respecting or associated with research
  • Records created prior to January 1, 2007

Once you are sure that the information you’re looking for falls under FIPPA, follow these steps to submit a request for information:

FOI Request Process

Please follow the steps below to submit your formal request for access:

  1. Please complete the Request Form. Please fully describe the records you wish to access, and provide sufficient detail to enable the hospital  to identify the information responsive to your request. If you need help completing your request, please contact the FOI Office at the email address below.
  2. Email completed Request Form to
  3. Once your request has been received you will receive an email notification which will outline payment instructions for the $5 application fee.  Please note that the application fee is not refundable.

The hospital will make every reasonable effort to respond to your request within thirty (30) days of receipt of payment. If an extension of time is required to process your request, you will receive formal notification. When all work necessary to respond to your request has been completed, you will be issued a final access decision letter. If your request is denied, you can appeal the decision. To submit an appeal, contact:

Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON
M4W 1A8
Phone: 416-326-3333
Phone toll-free (Ontario only): 1-800-387-0073

Fee Schedule

Additional Fees

In addition to the $5 application fee, the following fees may apply where you request access to information other than your personal information:

  1. For photocopies and computer printouts, 20 cents per page;
  2. For CD-ROMs, at $10 for each CD-ROM;
  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;
  6. For shipping costs;
  7. For “other Costs” incurred in responding to a request, as may be set by regulation.

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 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. SJHH 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.

SJHH 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.