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Protecting Your Personal Health Information
The following information is from the Access and Privacy Division of the Manitoba Ombudsman.

What is the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)?
The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) provides access to information and protection of privacy rights concerning personal health information. PHIA allows individuals to examine and receive a copy of their own personal health information from a trustee holding this information. PHIA imposes obligations on trustees for the protection of personal health information, specifically its collection, use, disclosure and security. It was proclaimed as law in Manitoba on December 11, 1997.

Who falls under PHIA?
PHIA applies to trustees who maintain (have custody or control of) personal health information. Trustees are:
-all public bodies that fall under FIPPA
-health professionals licensed or registered to provide health care or health professionals (such as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, etc.);
-health care facilities (such as hospitals, personal care homes, psychiatric facilities, medical clinics, laboratories, the Manitoba Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation, and community health centres or other health care facilities designated in the regulations)
-health services agencies providing health care under an agreement with another trustee (such as the Victorian Order of Nurses and We Care).

What is a "record"?
PHIA defines a "record" as "a record of information in any form, and includes information that is written, photographed, recorded or stored in any manner, on any storage medium or by any means, including by graphic, electronic or mechanical means, but does not include electronic software or any mechanism that produces records".

What is "personal health information"?
Personal health information is information about an identifiable individual that relates to an individual's health and health care history including genetic information, the provision of health care to the individual, or payment for health care provided to the individual. This includes such things as your Personal Health Information Number (PHIN) assigned by Manitoba Health, as well as any identifying information collected in the course of providing health care services.

Who can see my personal health information?
PHIA provides you with a right of access to your own personal health information. An employee of the trustee who needs to know your personal health information to provide you with health care services may see your information. PHIA also allows for the sharing of your personal health information in specific limited circumstances. Division 3 of PHIA sets out the requirements for the protection of the privacy of your personal health information.

The Interlake-Eastern RHA has designated a Regional Privacy Advisor who provides direction and support to the privacy officers within the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority. In addition, this advisor ensures policies are in place regarding compliance with the PHIA and FIPPA Acts. Interlake-Eastern RHA's Regional Privacy Advisor can be contacted by mail or phone at:
Interlake-Eastern RHA Regional Privacy Advisor
Box 5000, 100 Easton Drive
Selkirk, Manitoba R1A 2M2
Telephone: 204 785-7240 Fax: 204 785-8854
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