bulletin

Bulletin Number
        4340
Date
        June 25, 1999
Direct inquiries to
         Ministry of Health
         Processing Office


(address below)
Distribution
        Physicians, Hospitals, Clinics, and Laboratories
       
Subject      REPLICATION & REPRODUCTION OF HEALTH CARDS
Ministry of Health staff have been shown and have recovered from clients, replicated Ontario health cards which were produced by private businesses. The cards generally look quite different from the real health card (differing in weight of plastic, colour, lack of magnetic stripe, noted as 'permanent record') so it is unlikely that these reproductions would be mistaken for legitimate health cards. The ministry reiterates the need for validation of the health card by health care providers. Should providers accept alternative cards which are, in fact, invalid, the provider will not be paid as the 'good faith' payment policy no longer applies.

There are no apparent legitimate reasons for purchasing this service because health cards - including replacements when required - are provided to residents of Ontario at no charge.

Reproducing the Ontario health card is illegal under a variety of legislation.

Therefore, when a reproduction is presented, providers should:

  • inform the client that providing his/her health card to someone other than a health provider endangers confidentiality of his/her health information and provides opportunity for fraud
  • collect the replicated card when the client is prepared to release it
  • obtain as much information as possible from the client about the name and location of the vendor
  • report the incident and any details through the fraud line or to the closest District Office (sending the re-possessed card whenever possible).
  • The ministry will send a letter to the client advising them:
  • of the endangering of confidentiality of the health number through having a duplicate card with the health number
  • that the duplicate cannot itself be used to access services
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