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About

Health Information Services

Freedom of information

The Victorian Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI) gives you the right to request access to information held by Austin Health.

What information can be accessed?

The Victorian Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives you the right to request access to medical records held by Austin Health. It is possible to obtain copies of medical records or to view records.

Austin Health holds records for the following:

  • Austin Hospital
  • Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
  • Fairfield Hospital (limited records)
  • Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre
  • Mental Health Services (that are part of Austin Health)

Austin Health keeps medical records for at least 12 years.

It is also possible to obtain copies of information, view information or request an amendment to information that is incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading.

Is access guaranteed?

Most FOI applications are straightforward with no restrictions applied.

However, not all information is automatically available. The FOI Act allows Austin Health to refuse 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.

How to request access to a medical record

To request access to a medical record:

Refer to FOI Request to Access a Medical Record to find out more about how to apply.

Fees and charges

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

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 - $23.00
  • Photocopy fee - 20 cents per page
  • Search Fee - $22.20 per hour or part of an hour (non-personal requests only)
  • Viewing Record - $22.20 per hour or calculated in ΒΌ hour blocks
  • Registered Post - $4.50

What happens next

A formal decision (provided by email, fax or surface mail letter) is provided no later than 30 days from receipt of a valid request. 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 before a decision can me made. If so, we will contact the applicant.

How to request an amendment to a medical record

The FOI Act also gives you the right to request an amendment to a record that you have previously been given access to, if the record contains personal information that in your opinion is incomplete, out of date or misleading.

To request an amendment to a medical record:

Refer to FOI Request to Amend a Medical Record to find out more about how to apply.

How to obtain copies of x-rays or scans

If a patient would like copies of their x-rays or scans, they do not need to go through the FOI application process.

To obtain copies, contact Radiology directly on 03 9496 4624. Radiology may charge a fee for this service.

Contact us

Freedom of Information Officer

Phone: 03 9496 3103

Email: foi@austin.org.au

Postal address

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