Frequently Asked Questions - FIPPA

What is FIPPA?

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and the retention, destruction, security and accuracy of personal information.

It requires hospitals to maintain certain data banks and applies to all existing corporate records. The Act applies to all records that come into the custody or control of the hospital on or after January 1, 2007. Upon request, certain records must be made available in accordance with the Act.

FIPPA has two main purposes:
1.    To provide the public a right of access to Waypoint information subject to limited exemptions; and
2.    To protect the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by Waypoint and to
       provide individuals with a right of access to that information.

What is personal information?

The definition of personal information as provided by FIPPA is recorded information about an identifiable individual, including:
*    Information relating to the race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation or marital or 
     family status of the individual.
*    Information relating to the education or the medical, psychiatric, psychological, criminal or employment history of the 
     individual or information relating to financial transactions in which the individual has been involved.
*    Any identifying number, symbol or other particular assigned to the individual.
*    The address, telephone number, fingerprints or blood type of the individual.
*    The personal opinions or views of the individual except where they relate to another individual.
*    Correspondence sent to an institution by the individual that is implicitly or explicitly of a private or confidential nature, and 
     replies to that correspondence that would reveal the contents of the original correspondence.
*    The views or opinions of another individual about the individual.
*    The individual's name where it appears with other personal information relating to the individual or where disclosure of the 
      name would reveal other personal information about the individual.

Does FIPPA provide access to personal health information (PHI)?

No, personal health information is subject to the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA). If you are seeking access or correction to your health records, please contact Clinical Information Services at 705 549-3181, ext. 2597.

Do I have to file a freedom of information request to get information?

No, a formal application may not be necessary. Waypoint has created an extensive website that features a wide range of content about our organization, programs, services and governance. Please check the site first before making a formal application.

How do I make a formal request for access to information under FIPPA?

If you make a formal request for access to information or access to personal information or to have your personal information corrected, you must fill out the Access to Information Request form, and submit along with a $5 application fee (cheques payable to Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care or money order). Subsequently there may be additional charges related to the cost of searching for, preparing and sending the information requested. Please be very specific as to the material you are requesting. The more detail provided will assist in searching and obtaining the information and reduce the administration cost and additional fees.

How long does an FOI request take to process?

Once Waypoint receives a formal FOI request it will be reviewed to ensure it has sufficient detail and contains the application fee. Once it is deemed that the hospital has a complete FOI request, the process will begin and you will receive a response within 30 days. Possible responses could be: granting full or partial access to records; notification that no relevant records exist; notification of the need for a time extension and/or the need to notify affected third parties; and issue of a fee estimate and interim decision regarding the request.

What if I disagree with the results of a formal access to information request?

You have the right to appeal a decision of the FIPPA coordinator to the provincial Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Appeals must be made within 30 days of when you receive the decision. You may contact the Commissioner at:
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8

Information the appeal process and related fees is available at http://www.ipc.on.ca/images/Resources/Appeal_process-e.pdf

Do I have to identify who I am?

Not with a general request, but you must identify yourself when making personal information requests.