Accessing your health information
Under Ontario's Personal Health Information Protection Act, you have a right of access to your own personal health information. Requests for access can be made to North York General Hospital by completing the Consent for Release of Personal Health Information form or writing to us.
Processing and copy charges apply and are set out in this Fee Schedule. Please ensure that the applicable processing fee accompanies the request.
You can enter your information directly on the form from your computer. Once completed, print and sign, then mail, deliver or fax it to us. (Please note that faxing is a less secure method of transmission than mailing or delivery.) To protect your privacy, an electronic copy of the completed form cannot be saved, so print a copy for your records. Your request will be processed in the shortest time possible, although we have 30 days to respond to the request.
If you are a person's Substitute Decision Maker please include the related documents with your request.
You will be required to provide us with valid photo identification or other proof of identity prior to receiving the personal health information.
Requests for proof of birth/death/admission
For birth, death and admission letters, please complete the Consent for Release of Personal Health Information form
The hospital does not issue birth certificates. After a birth, the hospital or midwife provides a Statement of Live Birth. This is a permanent identity record and it is needed to apply for a birth certificate from Service Ontario. To obtain a birth certificate, contact Service Ontario at 1-800-461-2156 or through the Service Ontario website.
The hospital does not issue death certificates. A Medical Certificate of Death is completed by the hospital and is sent to the funeral home with the deceased. A Statement of Death is completed at the funeral home and the death is registered with the Office of the Registrar General at Service Ontario. To obtain a death certificate, please contact Service Ontario at 1-800-461-2156 or through the Service Ontario website.
Corrections to your record
If you believe your record of personal health information is not as accurate or complete as necessary, please submit a completed Request for Correction to Personal Health Record form to the Release of Information Department at North York General. We have 30 days to respond.
- The right of access applies to a record that is primarily about you.
- If the record is not primarily about you, access rights extend only to that portion that is about you.
- Access rights do not apply to quality of care or quality assurance records, research information or raw data from standardized tests.
- You will be given full access unless one of the following applies to part or all of the record:
- a legal privilege;
- another law prohibits disclosure;
- the information was collected or created for a proceeding, inspection or investigation that has not been concluded;
- access could result in serious harm to treatment or recovery or result in risk of serious bodily harm to the person or another person;
- access may identify a person who was required by law to provide information in confidence or who provided information in confidence.
Release of Information
North York General Hospital
4001 Leslie Street
Toronto Ontario M2K 1E1
Please leave a message when calling the Release of Information office. The office receives a high volume of calls and returns them as soon as possible, usually within three hours
Collection of personal health information
At North York General Hospital (NYGH) we collect your personal health information either directly from you or from the person acting on your behalf. We may collect your personal health information from other sources if this information is needed by us to provide you with necessary treatment and care.
NOTE: This information on protecting patient privacy is available in several languages:
Uses and disclosure of personal health information
Your personal health information is used and disclosed to treat and care for you and to:
- Provide patient- and family-centred care
- Support provision of continuing care following discharge or transfer to another care facility
- Conduct patient safety and quality improvement activities including satisfaction surveys
- Teach and conduct research
- Meet legal requirements and as permitted by law
- Fundraise for facilities, equipment and programs
- Obtain payment where necessary
You have the right to access your personal health records and to withdraw your consent for some of the above uses by contacting us in writing.
NYGH is committed to protecting your personal health information from theft, loss and unauthorized access, use, disclosure, copying, modification or disposal. We conduct audits to ensure compliance and take corrective measures as necessary.
While you are in hospital you can see your medical record. If you want to look at it, please tell your doctor or nurse and this will be arranged. If you want to see your record after you leave the hospital, read the Your Health Information
For more information about how we protect your privacy, or if you believe we may have contravened your rights, please contact us at 416-756-6448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You also have the right to complain to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. Contact the Commissioner at 416-326-3333 or mail your concern to:
Information and Privacy
2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
Advance directive/Power of attorney for personal care
If you have prepared an Advanced Directive for your care, please tell a member of the health care team. The freedom to decide one's medical care is the right of every capable person in Canada. This freedom includes the right to accept or refuse specific health care and/or medical treatments.
A living will or advanced directive is a statement of your wishes regarding health care and treatment. The purpose of such a statement is to inform the physicians and nursing staff of your care choices if you become unable to make decisions (if you are unconscious, for example). This will ensure that the care you wish to have can be planned for by your health care team.
We want to hear from you. We believe that many patients are able to instruct us regarding their care wishes. Once you have determined your wishes, you can indicate your decision to us by using the Living Will/Advanced Directives Form. A copy of this form will be placed on the front of your chart so all health care staff will be able to access your wishes.
If you are too ill to make decisions, your family members or powers of attorney/guardians will make decisions on your behalf. These decisions often cause guilt or conflict and can be very difficult to make at a time of crisis. You can help avoid conflict later on by discussing your wishes in advance with your family, guardian, or the person who holds power of attorney for your personal decisions. You may also designate a substitute decision maker who will make decisions if you are unable to do so. Discussing your wishes ahead of time makes it more possible for your health care team to act on your wishes.
We need to know who you designate as a primary contact or substitute decision maker when you are admitted, and keep the information up-to-date. This person will be the contact in an emergency, or in other less urgent situations, or if there is a change in your health status. The name and phone numbers of your substitute decision maker and next of kin will be listed on the front of your chart.
You or your substitute decision maker can alter your decision regarding your future health care at any time, especially if your condition changes. Let your wishes be known to the health care team —we will always respect and support your expressed wishes.