Complain to the IPC

You can complain about your health to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPCO) if, for example, your :

  • doesn’t give you any information or gives you only some of the information you asked for
  • says the records you want don’t exist, but you’re sure that they do
  • refuses to correct your records
  • is charging you a fee for your records that’s too high
  • isn’t waiving the fee for your records, even though you can’t afford it

In most cases, you have to complain to the IPCO within 6 months of getting your health-care provider’s decision. If it’s past 6 months, you have to explain why you’re complaining after the deadline and the IPCO may accept your complaint if you have a reason. For example, if you couldn’t complain because you were in the hospital.

To make an official complaint, you must fill out the IPCO Access/Correction Complaint Form. The form asks you for details such as:

  • your name and address
  • the name of your health-care provider and their address
  • what you’re complaining about
  • what you’ve done to try to resolve the issues

You can also add evidence to your complaint, such as letters from your health-care provider.

You don’t have to pay a fee to complain to the IPCO.

A lawyer can help you with your complaint.

Once you submit your form, there are 3 main steps in an IPCO complaint:

  1. Gather information: The IPCO talks to you and your health-care provider separately to understand the situation.
  2. Mediation: You, your health-care provider, and an IPCO mediator meet to see if you can agree on how to resolve your complaint. This is sometimes called a “settlement”.
  3. Adjudication: If you don’t agree, an adjudicator decides your complaint. An adjudicator is like a judge. They listen to you and to your health-care provider and look at all the evidence before making a decision.

After the adjudication, if you’re not satisfied with the decision, you can ask for a “judicial review”. This is where a court looks into your case.

Going to court is complicated. You can talk to a lawyer who can help you figure out if going to court is an option and if it will be helpful. They can also help you with the court process.

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