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A Trusted Regina Legal Professional shares information on amendments to the Health Information Protection Act

A Trusted Regina Legal Professional shares information about AMENDMENTS TO THE HEALTH INFORMATION PROTECTION ACT

The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) was enacted in Saskatchewan in 2003 to govern and regulate the collection, use, and disclosure of personal health information. This legislation places duties and responsibilities on organizations and individuals in the health care system to ensure proper collection, use and safekeeping of personal health information.

You may not have known but some amendments to HIPA came into force on June 1, 2016. The amendments seem to be aimed at increasing the protection and safekeeping of personal health records and increasing accountability of trustees and their employees in handling those records. The amendments include the following:

  • If personal health records are found unsecured, the trustee responsible for the records will be found strictly liable for the offence unless he/she can established that he/she took all reasonable steps to prevent the infraction.
  • An employee of a trustee can be held liable for intentionally using, accessing, or disclosing personal health information without authorization. These provisions seem to be targeted at individuals “snooping” into the personal health information of others.
  • A new provision implements a system to quickly respond to the discovery of abandoned or unsecured records and to take control of the records.

The Government of Saskatchewan has further advised that new privacy legislation, including The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act, 2016 and The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act, 2016, is currently being introduced and is expected to come into force in 2017.

A lawyer should be consulted to determine the legal implications of provincial and federal privacy legislation on your privacy and access interests.

This post is for information purposes only and should not be taken as legal opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. Counsel should be consulted concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.

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