Public Sector Health Information
If personal health information about a person is held by a Victorian Government department or public sector organisation (such as a public hospital), then they may seek access to that information by making a Freedom of Information (FOI) request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic).
Each Department and public sector organisation has an FOI Officer and you should contact that person for further information about making an FOI request.
Information about freedom of information, how to apply, costs and the Freedom of Information Commissioner, can be found here.
Private Sector Information
Access to health information in Victoria held in the private sector is covered by the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic). From 1 July 2002, Section 25 and Health Privacy Principle 6 of the Health Records Act 2001 gave people a right of access to personal health information held about them by any organisation in the private sector in Victoria.
(In addition, there is the right of access pursuant to the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 discussed above).
If the information the person is seeking access to was collected by the organisation after 1 July 2002, then the organisation must give access in one of the following ways:
- inspecting the information; and/or
- getting a copy; and/or
- viewing the information, accompanied by an explanation by a health service provider.
A fee may be charged, but as with other states/territories, it is limited by what is permitted in the legislation.
The Health Complaints Commissioner provides further information for the public that relates to health records and information held by public and private entities. The HCC also provides information for providers of health services, which may be found here.