Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act) any person can ask to see documents held by the West Gippsland Healthcare Group.


What are your rights?

You have a right, to see:-

  • Documents relating to your own personal affairs
  • Any other general documents written after 5 July 1978 (there are limited exceptions)

Personal documents held by the West Gippsland Healthcare Group include:

  • Medical records.
  • Staff personnel records.

Some documents may not be available to you as they are exempt from the FOI laws. These include documents which contain information about: the personal affairs of another person

  • the personal affairs of another person
  • material that is commercially confidential
  • law enforcement
  • other matters set out in the FOI Act
  • information that is supplied to another person in confidence


How can you to apply for information?

You must send a letter or complete a FOI Access Form.

You may get a copy of the FOI Access form by:-

If you are asking to access your documents, please attach proof of who you are (e.g. a copy of your driver's licence, passport or Health Care card).


Can you ask someone else to access FOI information on your behalf?

Yes.  You will need to give them specific, written authority to have access to your information.


Can you apply for documents for someone else?

Yes. You will need to give us proof of your legal right to act for that person e.g. guardianship status.


Can you apply for personal information about your children?

Yes.  You may apply for documents about your children if you are the guardian of the child and you have custody. A parent or another person having guardianship of a child may apply for documents on behalf of the child. You will need to show us proof of your guardianship status.


Fees and charges

There is a $28.40 application fee for an FOI request and other fees.  See the table below.

Activity Item Charge
Application fee.
(The application fee may be waived in some cases – see below).
$28.40
Search and retrieval.
(This is the time we spend searching for or retrieving a document).   
$20.90 per hour or part thereof
Photocopy $0.20 per page
Written transcripts of a recorded document. $20.40 per hour
Supervising an inspection of documents. $5.10 per quarter hour

If the charges relating to your request are more than $50.00, you may be asked to pay a deposit. You will be sent a letter with an estimate of the costs. If you need to pay a deposit you can ask that the access charges be waived or reduced.


When can the application fee can be waived?

The application fee may be waived if it will cause you financial hardship e.g. you are a pensioner or you have financial difficulties.

There are no processing charges for requests for documents about you and your personal affairs. However, processing charges may apply to other requests.


Where do you send your FOI Application?

Applications should be sent to:-

Freedom of Information.
Health Information Services.
41 Landsborough Street.
Warragul Vic 3820.


How long will your application take?

When we have made a decision about your FOI request, you will receive a letter from us within 45 days. The letter will explain our decision and your review and appeal rights.


What should you do if you disagree with our decision?

After you have received our letter, if you disagree with our decision, you can request a review. You can ask for the following decisions to be reviewed:  

  • if we refuse to give you access to all or part of a document or if we defer giving you access,
  • if we impose a charge,
  • if we refuse to change or annotate information about you that you claim is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.
A third party who disagrees with our decision to give you documents that contain information about them can also ask for our decision to be reviewed.


How can you request a review of a decision?

If you are not satisfied with the decision, you have the right to seek a review from the Freedom of Information Commissioner.

If you wish to appeal the Commissioner’s decision, you can apply to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The Freedom of Information Commissioner can hear complaints about an agency’s handling of a request. If the request involves health information, you can also contact the Health Services Commissioner


Contact Details

For more information telephone the hospital’s reception on 5623 0611 and ask to speak to a staff member in Health Information Services.


Links

Freedom of Information Part II Statement

Freedom of Information Access Request Form