Freedom of Information

About Freedom of Information

  • The Victorian Freedom of Information Act (1982) (FOI Act) allows you to request access to your own or your child's medical record held by The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH). It is possible to obtain a copy of the medical record or to view the original record.

    The following information is contained in the Information Sheet which can be downloaded.

    Downloads 

    How do I apply?

    A valid application requires the following:

    Written application

    All applications must be made in writing and have enough information for us to find the correct medical record.

    You can fill in an Application form (PDF 75KB) or write a letter.

    Identification

    Photo identification that shows your signature, eg a photocopy of a driver's licence or passport MUST be sent with your application.

    Application Fee $28.40 (as at 1 July 2017) The application fee must accompany the written request.

    Payment by cheque/money order/credit card made payable to The Royal Children's Hospital

    If one of the following applies the application fee is waived:

    • Health Care Card or valid Pension Card (Photocopy of both sides)
    • Compassionate Grounds (patient is deceased)
    • Photographs only - RCH does not charge the application fee whe the request is only for photographs
    Where to send your valid application

    Post:     Freedom Of Information
                The Royal Children's Hospital
                50 Flemington Road
                Parkville Victoria 3052

    Fax:       (03) 9345 4088

    Email:    foi@rch.org.au - please send attachments as PDF's

    How much will it cost?

    The FOI Act sets out the cost for providing access to records.

    Access charges 

    Medical Records:

    • Photocopying Fee: 20 cents per page
    • *Scanned Medical Record on Disc $20 - $50 (depending on the size of the file)

    *Only available if the record is an Electronically Scanned Medical Record  

    Photographs 

    Photograph prints $2.00 each (this may vary depending on the age of the photographs)
    Photographs provided on Disc  $20.00 (digital prints taken from April 2002 onwards)

    Postage

    All documents/discs are posted Registered Post for a fee of $7.00 (this may increase depending on the size of the package)

    How long will it take?

    In accordance with the FOI Act, we have 45 days to make a decision in writing about your request. The 45 day period starts when we have received your valid application.
    You will recieve an acknowledgement letter. When the medical record has been reviewed you will receive a letter informing you of our decison to release the records. The copying and postage charges will be itemised.

    Do I have the right to access the information?


    The FOI Act gives you the right to request access to your own or your child's medical record, subject to certain exemptions. Some information may be restricted according to the Exemptions outlined in the FOI Act. This may include information that relates to the personal affairs of a person other than the patient, or information obtained in confidence.

    The hospital must take reasonable steps to be satisfied that the applicant has the "right to access" the medical records. We have a duty to protect the privacy of personal information.

    The following are some situations where you may be asked to send in additional identification or information.

    Requesting records where the patient is 16 yrs and over

    The young person can apply themselves or written authority from the patient and identification from the patient.

    Name Change

    If you are requesting your own records and have changed your name, include documentation showing the change of name, eg copy of marriage certificate.

    Family Court Orders

    We require a copy of any relevant Family Court Orders.

    Requesting records of a deceased patient

    Evidence that you are the next of kin, or written authority from the next of kin.

    Can any one else request my information or my child's information?

    Information about you or your child will only be provided to another person with your written authority.

    Medical records may also be made available to another person, in accordance with due legal process, such as evidence before a court. 

    X-Rays / Scans (Medical Imaging)

    These can be obtained directly from the Medical Imaging Department phone 9345 6777 or visit Medical Imaging Department to obtain a form

    Can you send the information to my doctor?

    Information can be sent directly to your doctor, this is done by our Health Information Services.  You or your doctor can contact them on 9345 6107 or fax a request to  9345 6589

    What if I need the information for court?

    Should you require this information urgently for Court proceedings, you should speak to your lawyer to consider issuing a subpoena for the medical record.

     Who can I contact for more information?

     You can call the Freedom of Information staff at RCH on (03) 9345 5132 or (03) 9345 5156

    For information regarding the Freedom of Information Act, you can visit the Victorian Government Website on www.foi.vic.gov.au or call (03) 86840063