Step 1: Find out if a FIPPA request is necessary
You do not always need to submit a formal freedom of information request to access information from the Hospital.
- A lot of information is posted on our website.
If the information can be found without a formal request this saves you and the Hospital a great deal of time and money.
- If you cannot find the information that you seek online, consider requesting the information informally. This means requesting information from the department or area of the hospital that you think may have what you are looking for. You will be assisted with your request and told whether the information can be provided to you informally, or whether you will have to submit a freedom of information request.
Step 2: Make a formal written request
You may request access to information by making a written request through the FOI Coordinator. For this purpose, an Access/Correction Request form is available in the Library (located on the level 1), 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. However, any request made in writing will be accepted, as long as the following information is included:
Please remember the more specific your request, the quicker and more accurately it can be answered.
- Date of request
- Identification of the specific record(s) to which you are requesting access
- Statement that you are making this request through FIPPA
- $5 application fee
- Your contact information
- An original signature of requester.
Please note that requests received by electronic mail are not accepted since the legislation requires that requests be authenticated by an original signature.
You may use CHEO's form to make a formal request. The form is available at – CHEO FIPPA Form Step 3: Pay the application fee
Once the Access or Correction Request form is completed, return it to the Finance department (located level 1 just down the hall from the library), along with a $5 application fee. Processing of the request will commence once the completed form and the receipt of payment are both received by the FOI Coordinator. If the total cost of completing your request exceeds $100, you will be provided with a fee estimate before processing begins and you will be required to pay a deposit of 50% of the total estimate before the Hospital will begin to process your request.
Step 4: Your request is reviewed
Your request will be reviewed by the FOI Office in accordance with FIPPA. The Hospital will then send you an acknowledgment letter and notify you of an estimate of any fees that may apply. Every effort will be made to resolve the request within 30 days. However the Hospital may advise you of the need for a time extension.
Once a determination has been made, a decision letter will be sent to the requestor. This letter will outline all the details of the decision, including any exemptions that may apply, a calculation of any incurred fees, and if applicable, a schedule of disclosure, and directions regarding the actual access to the identified records. Records to which exemptions apply may be withheld entirely or be "severed" (i.e. portions blacked-out). A decision letter will explain in detail the exemptions applied and give reasons. If you request access to records containing personal information about yourself the Hospital may ask you to present yourself in person to the FOI Office with one piece of picture ID before the records are disclosed to you.
All decisions made by CHEO, including the final determination and any fees or time extensions, may be appealed to the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario. You have thirty-days (30) from the date of the Hospital's decision letter to request a review by Ontario’s IPC.
Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1A8
Tel: (416) 326-3333, or 1-800-387-0073