The Government of Ontario announced on June 10 that it intends to
introduce amendments to the province's Personal Health
Information Protection Act (PHIPA) that, if passed, would
strengthen privacy rules in respect of health records, make it
easier to prosecute offences, and increase fines for privacy
Speaking at a press conference at Queen's Park, Health Minister
Dr. Eric Hoskins said the proposed changes would also include
mandatory reporting of all health-related privacy breaches to
Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner.
The amendments would include:
Clarifying the authority under which healthcare providers may
collect, use and disclose personal health information in electronic
Increasing accountability and transparency by making it
mandatory to report privacy breaches to the Information and Privacy
Commissioner and, in certain cases, to relevant regulatory
Strengthening the process to prosecute offences under PHIPA by
removing the requirement that prosecutions must be commenced within
six months of the alleged privacy breach;
Further discouraging "snooping" into patient records
by doubling the fines for offences under PHIPA from $50,000 to
$100,000 for individuals, and from $250,000 to $500,000 for the
Hoskins at the same time also announced re-introduction of the
Electronic Personal Health Information Protection Act,
which will establish privacy and security requirements for shared
electronic health records. This legislation had died on the order
paper when the provincial election was called in 2014.
It is expected that the legislation will be introduced in the fall
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