Privacy Laws in Canada

Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA)

PHIPA is Provincial legislation that governs the collection, use and sharing of personal health information. It is based on ten principles that hospitals, doctors, community health care organizations, and other health practicing facilities must follow when collecting, using and sharing personal health information. STEGH has established a privacy program based on these principles.

The 10 Privacy Principles of PHIPA:

Accountability: An organization is responsible for personal information under its control and shall designate an individual or individuals who are accountable for the organization's compliance with the following principles.

Accuracy: Personal information shall be as accurate, complete and up-to-date as is necessary for the purpose for which it is used.

Identifying Purposes: The purposes for which personal information is collected shall be identified by the organization at or before the time the information is collected.

Safeguards: Personal information shall be protected by security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.

Consent: The knowledge and consent of the individual are required for the collection, use, or disclosure of personal information, except where inappropriate.

Openness: An organization shall make readily available to individuals specific information about its policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

Limiting Collection: The collection of personal information shall be limited to that which is necessary for the purposes identified by the organization. Information shall be collected by fair and lawful means.

Individual Access: Upon request, an individual shall be informed of the existence, use, and disclosure of his or her personal information, and shall be given access to that information. An individual shall be able to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.

Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention: Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual or as required by law. Personal information shall be retained only as long as necessary for the fulfilment of those purposes.

Challenging Compliance: An individual shall be able to address a challenge concerning compliance with the above principles to the designate individual or individuals accountable for the organization's compliance.