A nurse checks on a patient in the cancer ward

Departments

Freedom of Information

The Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI) gives you the right to request access to information held by Austin Health. It is possible to obtain copies of information, view information or request an amendment to information that is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

What Information Can be Accessed

Austin Health holds information for the following:

  • Austin Hospital
  • Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
  • Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre
  • Psychiatric Services (that are part of Austin Health)
  • The former Fairfied Hospital (a small sub-set of records only)

Austin Health keeps medical records for at least 12 years from the last time they were used to provide patient treatment.

Is Access Guaranteed?

Not all information is automatically available. The FOI Act allows refusal of access to certain information or documents. These documents are often referred to as 'exempt' documents and are described in the FOI Act.  Each document is assessed on its merits before a decision is made.

Most FOI applications are straighforward with no restrictions to information applied.

How to Apply

Applications must include the following before they can be processed:

  1. FOI Application or letter - for requests relating to medical records see FOI Application below.
  2. Application Fee ($28.40) - applicants that are suffering financial hardship can request that the application fee be waived. See FOI Request forms for further information. 
  3. Authority for release of  the information (if the request relates to patient information).

A formal decision (provided by email, fax or surface mail letter) will be provided no later than 30 days* from receipt of a valid request.

* Note: During the course of processing an application, Austin Health may be required to consult third parties to determine whether or not to release all, or part of a record. This consultation may require an extension of time to make a decision. If so, we will contact the applicant.

Send or email to:

Mail             

Freedom of Information Officer            
Austin Health
PO Box 5555
Heidelberg Victoria 3084
Australia

Email  foi@austin.org.au

 

Other Charges

The FOI Act sets out other access charges. The applicant will be advised of any additional charges when the request has been approved. These charges must be paid before the information is released. In some cases these charges may be waived.

Charges that may apply are:

DVD

$22.00

Photocopy Fee

20 cents per page

Search Fee

$21.30 per hour or part of an hour (non-personal requests only)     

Viewing Documents          

$21.30 per hour or calculated in quarter hour blocks

Registered Post

$4.50 

* Fees and charges are set out by the Freedom of Information Act, 1982

How to Obtain Copies of X-rays or Scans

If a patient would like copies of  their x-rays or scans only, they do not need to go through the FOI request process. Contact the Radiology Department directly on telephone 9496 4624.

The Radiology Department may charge separately for this.

Contact

Freedom of Information Support Officer

Ph 03 9496 3103

foi@austin.org.au