The Royal Melbourne Hospital Patient Guide
Freedom of Information
During your care, your doctor will provide you with information and you can request information as you need it. The Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 1982 gives you the right to access your information held in Royal Melbourne Hospital records. FOI also allows you to amend incorrect information in your records and to request an explanation or a summary of the information. No other person, except those authorised by law, can have access to your medical record. In certain instances we have the right to refuse your request, but if this happens we will tell you why. We will tell you of any costs associated with this request.
Pick up a copy of the Freedom of Information and You brochure on hospital wards or call the FOI Officer on 9342 7781.
FOI request form FOI information sheet
Your medical record includes health information collected during your inpatient and outpatient attendances. The information is used to assist in your ongoing care and treatment. Such information includes details of current and past illnesses or injuries, operations performed, pathology results and medications taken and prescribed.
- Inpatient records are kept for a minimum of 15 years from the patient's last date of attendance.
- Outpatient records are kept for a minimum of 7 years from the patient's last date of attendance.
- X-rays are kept for a minimum of 5 years after creation.
- Records of deceased patients are kept for 10 years from the date of death. At the end of their retention period, records are shredded.
Obtaining copies of records
Applications must be in writing to the FOI Officer, either on an Application Form available from the FOI Officer or by letter. Your request to either view the record or obtain a copy must be clear. Applications must be accompanied by the $25.10 prescribed fee.
- Records will only be provided to another person if written authority from the patient is given, or if you can provide evidence you have been named as Power of Attorney by that person for all their affairs; have been appointed Legal Guardian; or are the direct Next of Kin in the case of a deceased person.
- Records may also be made available in accordance with due legal process, eg. as evidence in a legal action before a court.
The total cost varies according to the type of request. An application for Financial Hardship may be made and must be supported by evidence, such as a HealthCare Card or Pension Card. If accepted, you may be excused from paying some or all of the following charges:
List of Current Fees and Charges (for the Financial Year 2012/13)
||$25.10 (Non refundable)|
|Search Fee (if applicable):
||$20.00 per hour or part thereof|
||$5.00 per quarter-hour or part thereof|
||$0.20 per photocopied page|
||$6.50 when sent via registered mail|
|Copy of X-rays Films:
If you are the holder of a current Health Care/pension card, the application fee will be waved.
In this circumstance, please send a copy of the entitlement card for the reduced fee.
|Appeal to Victorian Civil
and Administration Tribunal
Freedom of Information applications
Requests for access must be made in writing to:
The FOI Officer
Health Information Services
PO Box 2155
Parkville Victoria 3050
Health Information Services
The Royal Melbourne Hospital - City Campus
Melbourne Health has 45 days from receipt of your application to inform you of the outcome of your request. At this time you may also receive an invoice for any applicable charges. These charges must be paid in full before receipt of your information.