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Adminstrative access

Access to medical records

You can apply in writing for a copy of your medical record.

The Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 imposes strict confidently requirements on the TCHHS. Information requested in an administrative access application is necessary to verify your identity to protect your personal health information from being disclosed to persons other than you or your authorised agent.

To access someone else’s records when you do not have, or are unable to obtain their consent, you will need to make application under the Right to Information Act 2009.

Quick links:


Accessing your own medical records

You have the right to apply for access to information in your medical record, including children (individuals under the age of 18).

How to apply? Complete the Administrative access application form

How to lodge the application? Visit How to apply

Cost? Nil.

How long to process your request? Usually will be provided within 25 business days from when we received the request.

Review rights If you are dissatisfied with our response to your administrative access request you may provide feedback online or use the 'We are listening' form


Transferring your medical record between your health professionals

If you change health professional/ practice/ surgery, e.g. as a result of moving home, you can request a summary of your medical record to be forwarded to your new health professional.

Usually your new health professional will ask if you would like this to occur. Your new health professional will need to obtain your written authorisation to make the request.

Currently the Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service does not charge for this service.


Applications by and for children

Children (individuals under the age of 18) can generally make requests on their own behalf.

By children:

Decisions to release information to children will take into account the best interests of the child, have regard to whether the person has the capacity to understand the information and the context in which it was recorded and make a mature judgment as to what might be in his or her best interests.

By parents:

If you need to access your children’s (individuals under the age of 18) health record you will need to make application under the Information Privacy Act 2009.

To access your child’s medical record you will need to provide certified evidence of your relationship and evidence of identity for yourself.

Some examples include:

Examples of evidence of relationship include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Court Order
  • Correspondence and cards from government agencies

The following cards may list dependants:

  • Health Insurance Card
  • Medicare Card
  • Pensioner Health Care Card

As part of establishing Proof of identity, copies of documents submitted in support of an application must be certified as a true and correct copy by a qualified witness.

See Proof of identity for more information.


When TCHHS may decline direct access

If TCHHS form the view that giving the healthcare information to you directly might be harmful to your physical or mental health or well-being we will inform you of the options.

What to do if the TCHHS decides access can only be given through a healthcare professional?

Refer to what to do if an agency decides can only be given through a healthcare professional.


Agents accessing records

Where possible, you are encouraged to apply personally for your medical record rather than have someone act on your behalf.

Before we can disclose your information to a third party such as a solicitor or family member we must be satisfied that they have authority to act on your behalf.

To access sensitive personal records such a mental health records agents need to make application under the Information Privacy Act 2009 .

Evidence of authority

Patient has legal capacity

Agent’s authorisation should:

  • Be in writing
  • Be current (not more than six months old)
  • State the full name of the patient/ applicant
  • State the patient’s current address
  • State the full name of the agent
  • Set out the scope of the authority to act as the applicant's agent
  • Be signed and dated by the applicant and agent, and witnessed.

Sample authority:

I, <Given Name/s Family Name> (date of birth <dd-mm-yyyy>) of <current address> authorise Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service to release my medical records <full record or a specific treatment or date range and other details such > to my agent <full name of private individual or case solicitor and company name>

Dated this      day of        year

Signed

Patient Given Name/s Family Name                    Agent full name

The authority must be an original or certified as a true and correct copy by a qualified witness.

Legally appointed agents:

The agent must provide evidence of authority such as a court order.  The document used as evidence must be certified as a true and correct copy by a qualified witness.

Qualified witness:

The following persons are considered to be qualified witnesses and are able to certify photocopies of documents as being “a correct copy of the document”:

  • Lawyer
  • Commissioner for Declarations
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Notary Public

Proof of identity requirements

  • Applicant/ patient mandatory
  • Agents, individuals such as spouses and relatives mandatory
  • Agents, lawyers, generally we will not ask for proof of identity if the authorisation is correct and proof of identity of the patient is provided.

See Proof of identity

Key points for solicitors

A letter on company letterhead (not a facsimile cover sheet) with:

  • Reference to attached patient authorisation or the source of authority
  • Full name of the patient
  • Date of birth of the patient
  • The full name of the company case officer
  • Signed and dated by the principal of the firm, and
  • Patient’s proof of identity is provided.

The scope of the information requested in a cover letter and/ or application form must be the same as that indicated in the patient’s authority.  For example, if the patient’s authority indicates treatment records on or around a date, relevant to incident/ accident, then the cover letter should also state this or simply make reference to the attached authority.

Actions that we may take

If there is any uncertainty about the validity of authorisation or identity:

  • Contact the agent to clarify capacity of our patient
  • Contact our patient to check that they are aware of who is making the request and what is being requested
  • Request proof of employment of a solicitor with the firm or organisation
  • Refuse the application if we are not legally obliged to disclosure the information.

See options How to apply

Review rights

If you are dissatisfied with our response to your administrative access request you may provide feedback online or use the 'We are listening' form


Access to personnel (employee) records

Current employees

If you are a current employee of the TCHHS, under Part 3 of the Public Service Regulation 2008, you are entitled to access your own employee record by writing to People and Culture team (details below).

However, please note that in some instances, not all information can be provided through this administrative process and you may wish to make an access application under the Right to Information Act 2009 or Information Privacy Act 2009.

Former employees

The provisions referred to above may not necessarily apply once you have ceased to be an employee.

If you are a former employee (and not employed by another Queensland government agency) you can contact the People and Culture team, as they may be prepared to exercise discretion to grant you access to the information you seek.

However, if you have moved to another Queensland government agency, and are employed under the Public Service Act 2008 (Qld), the access provisions in the Public Service Regulation 2008 will still apply.

Who you can contact and how to apply

You can apply by contacting the People and Culture team

Human Resources unit
Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service
Building II, Level 6, William McCormack Place
5B Sheridan Street
Cairns QLD 4870

Postal:
PO Box 5607
Cairns Qld   4870

Email:
TCHHS-HR-support@health.qld.gov.au

Phone:
(07) 4226 3052

Cost

Nil.

How long to process your request

Usually will be provided within 21 business days from when we received the request.


Last updated: 9 September 2016