In this section
The Victorian Freedom of Information Act (1982) (FOI Act) allows you to request access to your own or your child's Royal Children's Hospital medical record. 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.
A valid application requires the following:
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 or write a letter.
Photo identification that shows your signature, eg a photocopy of a driver's licence or passport MUST be sent with your application.
$29.60 (as at 1 July 2019).
The application fee must accompany the written request. Payment by credit card / cheque or money order made payable to The Royal Children's Hospital In person, cashiers office RCH ground floor.
If one of the following applies the application fee is waived:
Freedom of Information
The Royal Children's Hospital
50 Flemington Road
Pakville Victoria 3052
Facsimile: (03) 9345 4088
firstname.lastname@example.org - please send attachments as PDFs
In Person: The Family Hub, ground floor
The FOI Act sets out the cost for providing access to records.
Disc $20 - $50 (depending on the size of the file)
Photocopying fee: 20 cents per page
Registered or parcel post $10.00 (depending on the size of the package)
You will receive an acknowledgement letter, usually within a week of receipt of a valid request.
A formal decision letter will be provided no later than 30 days from receipt of a valid request. This may be subject to extensions permitted under the FOI Act of which you will be notified.
This letter will also include the access charges.
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.
Most FOI applications are straightforward with no restrictions to information applied.
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.
If the applicant is NOT the patient and the patient is:
It is preferable for the patient to apply for access to their own medical record. If this is not possible, written authority from the patient will be required.
Where the patient is not able to provide authority, we require evidence that you have the “right to access” the information eg Power of Attorney (medical) or Guardianship documents.
It is preferable for the patient to apply for access to their own medical record.
In recognition of a young person’s evolving competence and right to privacy, the RCH policy is to obtain consent from the young person.
The following are some other situations where we will require additional information:
If you are requesting your own records and have changed your name, include documentation showing the change of name, eg copy of marriage certificate.
If there are current Family Court Orders in place, a copy of the order should be provided.
Evidence that you are the next of kin or written authority from the next of kin.
You can authorise another person (eg TAC, solicitor) to make a request on your behalf.
If you want someone to make a request on your behalf, you must give them your written authorisation for us to release the information to them.
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.
These can be obtained directly from the Medical Imaging Department phone 9345 6777 or visit Medical Imaging to obtain a form
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
Should you require this information urgently for Court proceedings, you should speak to your lawyer to consider issuing a subpoena for the medical record.
If you have any questions or concerns about your application or the process, please contact:
Freedom of Information
The Royal Children’s Hospital
50 Flemington Road
Parkville Victoria 3052
Telephone: 9345 5156 or 9345 5132
Facsimile: 9345 4088