Legislation

Notice of Proposed New Regulation Under the Health Insurance Act, 1990

Disclosure of Personal Information About Physicians to eHealth Ontario

Introduction

The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, on behalf of the Government of Ontario, invites public comments on a proposed new regulation made under section 4.1(3) of the Health Insurance Act, 1990 (HIA).

Under the HIA, the Lieutenant Governor in Council is authorized to make regulations prescribing anything that must or may be prescribed under the Act, including a purpose for which the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is required to disclose personal information under section 4.1(3).

The proposed new regulation will be posted for 45 days to allow for public comment, after which the Lieutenant Governor in Council may finalize the regulation with or without changes.

Overview of the Legislation

The HIA governs the administration and operation of the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (Plan) and the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care is the public authority for Ontario for the purposes of the Canada Health Act, 1990. The Plan is established for the purposes of providing insurance against the costs of insured services on a non-profit basis, and is available to all residents of Ontario in accordance with the HIA.

Proposed Regulation under the Health Insurance Act

The proposed new regulation is made under section 4.1(3) of the HIA, which provides that the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and General Manager of the Plan are required to disclose personal information held by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) if the disclosure is "necessary for purposes related to the administration of" the HIA, or "for other purposes as may be prescribed."

The proposed new regulation would prescribe "other purposes." Specifically, it would require MOHLTC to disclose personal information about physicians to eHealth Ontario, if the disclosure is necessary for the provision of electronic health services (including services related to the Diabetes Registry). The MOHLTC holds personal information about physicians and eHealth Ontario needs this information to ensure the accurate identification of physicians in Ontario who will use eHealth services in order to provide health care to their patients.

Once the final regulation is in force, and the MOHLTC discloses personal information about physicians to eHealth Ontario, the use of this information by eHealth Ontario would be governed by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

A copy of the proposed new regulation is attached as Schedule "A".

Invitation to Provide Written Comments

Interested parties are invited to make written comments on the proposed new regulation during a 45-day period commencing on December 20, 2010 and ending February 2, 2011.

In providing comments please consider whether the proposed new regulation should be made with or without changes. Please be as specific as possible and provide a full rationale to any suggested changes or additions.

Written comments may be addressed to:

HIA Regulation - Disclosure of Personal Information about Physicians
Health System Information Management and Investment Division
Ministry of Health and Long-term Care
1075 Bay Street, 13th Floor
Toronto, ON M5S 2B1
Fax: (416) 314-6731
Email: healthprivacy.moh@ontario.ca

The proposed new regulation is provided in both English and French. We welcome comments in either language.

The Minister will consider comments received on or before February 2, 2011. The final regulation is at the discretion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

The content, structure, and form of the proposed new regulation are subject to change as a result of the comment process and at the discretion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, who has the full decision on the content of any regulation.

Please note that all comments and materials received from organizations will be treated as public information and may be used and disclosed by the MOHLTC to assist the MOHLTC in evaluating and revising the proposed draft regulation. Similarly, materials and comments received from an individual who indicates an affiliation with an organization will be considered as having been submitted on behalf of the organization and treated as public information. However, comments and materials received from individuals who do not indicate an affiliation with an organization will not be considered public information unless the individual expressly states otherwise. Although the materials or comments provided by such individuals may be used and disclosed by the MOHLTC to assist in evaluating and revising the proposed draft regulation, their personal information, such as name and contact information, will not be disclosed by the MOHLTC without the individual's consent unless required by law.

A copy of the HIA is available from Publications Ontario, 50 Grosvenor Street, Toronto ON, M7A 1N8 or from http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca.

Additional information is available on the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's website at www.health.gov.on.ca.


Schedule "A"
Draft for Public Consultation Only

This draft regulation is provided solely to facilitate public consultation. Should the decision be made to proceed with the proposal, the comments received during consultation will be considered during the final preparation of the regulation. The content, structure and form of the draft regulation are subject to change as a result of the consultation process.

Ontario Regulation
made under the
Health Insurance Act
Physicians' Personal Information

Definitions

1. In this Regulation, "eHealth Ontario" means the corporation continued under subsection 2 (1) of Ontario Regulation 43/02 (eHealth Ontario) made under the Development Corporations Act;

"eHealth services" means eHealth services as defined in section 1 of Ontario Regulation 43/02 (eHealth Ontario) made under the Development Corporations Act;

"personal information" means personal information as defined in subsection 2 (1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Disclosure of personal information

2. The Minister or the General Manager shall disclose personal information about a physician to eHealth Ontario if, in the opinion of the Minister or the General Manager, the disclosure is necessary for the provision of eHealth services.

Commencement

3. This Regulation comes into force on the later of January 1, 2011 and the day it is filed.

For More Information

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