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

Submitting a Freedom of Information Request

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).  SJHH 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.

Our Directory of Records and Personal Information Bank is an inventory of records to assist you in identifying records maintained by the hospital, which may contain your personal information.  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.


FOI Request Procedure

When an informal request for access to information is not possible, you can make a formal request to the Privacy Office for access to information under FIPPA.  Please follow the below steps to submit your formal request for access:

  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. Provide the $5.00 application fee along with your written request (cash or cheque made payable to "St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton")
  3. Do your best to describe the records you wish to access. Be sure you have provided sufficient detail to enable SJHH, to identify the information responsive to your request. If you need help completing your request, please contact the FOI Coordinator at the number below.

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

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

SJHH will take every reasonable effort to respond to your request within thirty (30) days of receipt of your request. 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 you disagree with the decision, you may request a review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

Fee Schedule

Additional Fees

In addition to your $5 application fee, if you request access to information that is not your own personal information, the following fees may apply:

  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.