HIA Principles

The Health Information Act (HIA) legislates open and accountable health care by providing applicants with the right to access records held by health information custodians, subject to limited and specific exceptions. 

The HIA applies to health information resulting from health services provided by a custodian. 

It is a principle of the HIA that access to records be given unless the Act specifically allows the record to be withheld. This right of access is balanced by the need to protect individual privacy. 

The HIA controls how health information is collected, used and disclosed. It prevents another person from seeing your health information without your consent while enabling health information to be shared and accessed to provide health services and manage the health system. 

You can ask to see or have a copy of your health records if they are held by a custodian. 

You have the right to request that your health information be corrected if it is not accurate. This is not an absolute right, and a request to correct information may be turned down. 

The Act provides for review by the Information and Privacy Commissioner if individuals are not satisfied with the decisions of custodians in response to requests made under the Act. In cases where correction of health information has been refused, an individual may request a review of the decision by the Commissioner OR they may have a statement of disagreement attached to their health record. 

Individuals can also complain to the Commissioner if they believe their health information has been collected, used or disclosed in violation of the HIA.

(taken from OIPC website http://www.oipc.ab.ca/pages/HIA/Principles.aspx)

May 2014