During your care, your doctor gives information to you and you can request information from them as you need it.
No other person, except those authorised by law, can have access to your medical record.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act gives you the right to request information and access your medical record and in certain cases, our activities.
For further information, read the "Freedom of Information and You" brochure on hospital wards, contact the FOI Officer or refer to the section “Obtaining copies of your medical records and other documents under FOI” below.
Requests for access to your medical record must be made in writing to the FOI Officer. FOI requests are only one way of obtaining information. For example, Data.Vic is a specialised website proactively providing access to government data. Where appropriate, you may ask for access to your personal or health information, without having to make a formal request under FOI.
What is in your medical record?
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. The information includes details of current and past illnesses or injuries, operations performed, pathology results and medications taken and prescribed.
Records are kept as follows:
- 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 12 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 12 years from the date of death. At the end of their retention period, records are shredded.
Obtaining copies of your medical records and other documents under FOI
Applications must be in writing to the FOI Officer and can requested by:
- using the request form to access to documents
- submitting your request in writing by letter
Your request to view the record or obtain a copy must be clear. Applications must be accompanied by the application fee listed below, unless waived.
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.
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.
These fees are effective from 1 July 2017.
Amount and notes
|Application fee||$28.40 (Non refundable)|
|Search see (if applicable)||$21.30 per hour or part thereof|
|Supervision charges||$5 per quarter-hour or part thereof|
|Photocopy charges||$0.20 per photocopied page|
|Postage charges||$11 when sent via registered mail|
|Electronic copy (CD or DVD)||$0.20 per page|
|Electronic radiology images (CD)||$20 per CD or DVD|
|Photographs||$10 per A4 page|
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||Nil|
If there is information in the record which is incorrect or with which you do not agree, you have the right to request it to be corrected. In certain instances we have the right to refuse your request, but if this happens we will tell you why.
When you will receive the information
The RMH has 30 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 we send the information to you.