Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)

The purpose of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) is to provide you with access to information while at the same time protecting the privacy of individuals whose personal information we hold.

At St. Joseph’s Health Care London we believe in transparency and accountability. We continue to encourage and support proactive disclosure where it is appropriate and will provide information and documents online that are of interest to our community.

Contact us

Do you have questions about making a request for information? Not quite sure how to word your request so you receive the information you are looking for? Having difficulty filling out the request form?

Give us a call, or send us an email to make an appointment. We are happy to help you with any of your Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA) questions.

Mailing address:

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA) Office
St. Joseph's Health Care London
PO BOX 5777, STN B
London, ON  N6A 4V2

Detailed, printable, turn-by-turn directions to the FIPPA office
519 646-6100 ext. 65591
@email

Directory of records

Access a directory of FIPPA records here.

Fees for FIPPA requests

The hospital is permitted to charge certain fees in connection with responding to a Freedom of Information request. Section 57(1) of FIPPA outlines those costs incurred by the hospital that can be charged to the requester as fees, namely:

  1. The costs of every hour of manual search required to locate a record
  2. The costs of preparing the record for disclosure
  3. Computer and other costs incurred in locating, retrieving, processing and copying a record
  4. Shipping costs
  5. Any other costs incurred in responding to a request for access to a record

See below for an outline of fees that can be charged in connection with a general records request and the fees that can be charged in connection with a personal information request.

Fees for a general record request

  • Photocopies and computer printouts: $0.20 per page
  • Records provided on CD-ROMs: $10.00 for each CD-ROM
  • Manually searching a record: $7.50 for each 15 minutes spent by any person
  • Preparing a record for disclosure, including severing a part of the record: $7.50 for each 15 minutes spent by any person
  • Developing a computer program or other method of producing a record from a machine readable record: $15.00 for each 15 minutes spent by any person
  • Costs, including computer costs, incurred in locating, retrieving, processing and copying the record(s) if those costs are specified in an invoice received by the hospital: Actual costs incurred

Fees for a personal information request

  • Photocopies and computer printouts: $0.20 per page
  • Records provided on CD-ROMs: $10.00 for each CD-ROM
  • Developing a computer program or other method of producing a record from a machine readable record: $15.00 for each 15 minutes spent by any person
  • Costs, including computer costs, incurred in locating, retrieving, processing and copying the record(s) if those costs are specified in an invoice received by the hospital: Actual costs incurred'

Pay your FIPPA invoice

  • If you have received an invoice related to a FIPPA request, you may pay it online

    Important: Only FIPPA invoices can be paid through the above link, all other hospital invoices must be paid through the appropriate department.

  • You may also pay your FIPPA invoice by mail.

    Please send your cheque or money order (do not mail cash) to:

    Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA) Office
    St. Joseph’s Health Care London
    PO BOX 5777, STN B
    London, ON  N6A 4V2

Make an information request

You may use the St. Joseph’s Access/Correction Request Form for the following purposes:

  • To make a request for access to general records of the hospital
  • To request personal information about yourself
  • To request a correction to your personal information

Under FIPPA, an access request must be in writing and must provide sufficient details to identify the information you are looking for. A $5 fee for making an access request is also required under the Act.

You cannot access your health record through FIPPA or through Privacy and Risk. If you would like a copy of your health information or health records visit Health Records.

Please complete the electronic form (and $5 payment) online to make a freedom of information access request.

If you wish to send your request by mail, please send your completed request form along with your cheque or money order for $5 (do not mail cash) to:

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA) Office
St. Joseph's Health Care London
PO Box 5777, STN B
London, ON  N6A 4V2

If you have questions, contact us.

Correct your personal information

FIPPA gives you the right to access your personal information. Accompanying the right of access is the right to request that any inaccuracies in your personal information be corrected.

To correct personal information, please complete the Access/Correction Request Form.

Completed forms can be mailed to:

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPPA) Office
St. Joseph’s Health Care London
PO BOX 5777, STN B
London, ON  N6A 4V2

If you have any questions about the access or correction request process, please contact the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office.

Related links

Please refer to the links below to learn more about FIPPA:

Frequently asked questions - privacy

Why were hospitals brought under FIPPA?

Access to information held by public institutions is vital to a free and functioning democratic society. St. Joseph’s welcomes this step toward a culture of greater transparency and accountability.

When does FIPPA apply to hospitals?

The Act applies to hospitals as of January 1, 2012 but it is retroactive to January 1, 2007. As a result, records that came into a hospital’s custody and/or control on or after January 1, 2007 are subject to FIPPA.

What is the purpose of FIPPA?

FIPPA has two main purposes: granting access to information and protecting the privacy of individuals.

Access: The purpose of FIPPA is to provide a right of access to information under the control of institutions in accordance with the principles that:

  • Information held by the government and the broader public sector should be available to the public
  • Limitations on the right of access should be narrow and specific
  • Decisions on the disclosure of information should be reviewed independently of the hospital’s control of the information

Privacy: FIPPA protects the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by institutions and provides individuals with a right of access to the information. These concepts are similar to those the hospital already employs with respect to personal health information under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

What information/records does the Act apply to?

FIPPA provides access to information that is recorded, or that can be made into a record, whether in print, audio or electronic form, including:

  • Paper and electronic files and documents
  • Emails (including those on networks, desktops and personal devices)
  • Photographs, video and audio recordings
  • Non-final drafts and working notes
  • Expense claims/accounts
  • Minutes of meetings, agendas, communication books
  • Handwritten notes and personal notes
  • Spreadsheets and sketches
What is a Freedom of Information (FOI) request?

An FOI request is an official written request for information form an organization covered by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Visit the Request page for more information.

How do I know if a record is in the “custody or control” of the hospital?

In general, “custody” means that the hospital keeps, cares for, watches over, preserves and ensures the security of the record for business purposes. The hospital’s physical possession of a record may not be sufficient to constitute custody; it must have some right to deal with the record.

In general, “control” of a record does not mean having physical possession but rather the power to make a decision about the use or disclosure of the record.

What records are not covered by the Act?

Personal Health Information is subject to PHIPA legislation and is excluded from FOI legislation

Other exclusions include:

  1. Personal Health Information as defined by PHIPA, 2004
  2. Quality of Care Information as defined by QCIPA, 2004
  3. Ecclesiastical records of a church or religious organization that is affiliated with a hospital
  4. Records relating to the operations of a hospital foundation
  5. Administrative records of a member of a regulated health profession that relate to that person’s personal practice
  6. Records relating to the provision of abortion services
  7. Records relating to labour relations, employment and placement matters
  8. Records relating to appointment and privileging matters
  9. Certain records respecting or associated with research (including clinical trials)
  10. Certain records of teaching materials collected, prepared or maintained by an employee of the hospital or a person associated with the hospital for use at the hospital
How do I find out what information St. Joseph’s Health Care London has?

Directory of Records and Personal Information Banks is available online and contains a list of categories of records and personal information held by St. Joseph’s.

Do I always need to make a formal FOI request in order to obtain hospital information?

Information held by St. Joseph’s may be available to you without making a request in writing under the Act. Visit the Directory of Records and Personal Information section or contact the FOI Office.

FOI requests must be submitted in writing and accompanied by a $5 to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office. 

How do I request my personal health information?

Access to personal health information, such as in a patient’s medical chart, is not available under FIPPA. The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) applies to a patient’s medical information and the hospital protects medical information in accordance with PHIPA. You are able to access or correct your personal health information through Health Records.

Who can make a FOI request?

Any person, organization or company can make a request for access to records. A person includes individuals and organizations such as corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships. The right of access is not limited by citizenship or place of residence. There may be situations where one person represents another individual based on consent or through power conferred on an individual by FIPPA or another Act. (Subsection 10(1) and Section 66).

Is the requester required to provide a reason for his or her request?

St. Joseph’s is permitted to ask for the purpose of a request if this will assist in identifying the specific records that the requestor is looking for. However, the requestor has no obligation to provide reasons.

If I make a request for information or contact the organization about a privacy breach, is my identity protected?

Yes. If you make a request for information or contact an organization about a privacy breach, your identity must not be disclosed to individuals outside of that organization without your consent. Within the organization, your identity may only be disclosed to employees who need the information to perform the duties of their job, and that disclosure must be necessary and proper to carry out the organization’s functions.

Can the purpose of the request be used to justify denying access to records?

No. The purpose of a freedom of information (FOI) request is irrelevant. The requester has a right of access under FIPPA and the purpose of their exercise of that right cannot be used to deny access.

When can I expect a response to an FOI request?

You will receive a written response to your FOI request within 30 days after the form and fee are received.

How do I appeal a decision?

The organization must provide a notice in writing to the requester if your request for information is denied. Requesters do have a right to appeal a decision to the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario. The IPC’s website provides more information on how to make an appeal.

FIPPA Statistical Reports