You have the right to access your medical records held by the Royal Melbourne Hospital under the FOI Act.
What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1982 (Vic) gives you the right to access your medical records held by the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH). It also allows you to request for your records to be amended.
The RMH must provide you access to the records you request, unless they are fall within one of the ‘exemption’ categories in the FOI Act. If the RMH denies you access to any documents, it will explain the reasons and advise you of your review rights.
The RMH includes all Royal Melbourne Hospital sites:
Refer to the Freedom of Information Part II Statement, which outlines the functions, processes, and types of documents held by the RMH that are publicly available or available for access under the FOI Act.
What is in your medical record?
Your medical record includes health information collected during your inpatient, specialist clinics and/or emergency 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.
Request an amendment to your medical record
Where you consider the health or personal information contained in your RMH medical record is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or it would give a misleading impression, you may submit a request to have your record amended.
Your amendment request must:
- Be made in writing
- Explain how the information is inaccurate, incomplete, out of date, or would give a misleading impression, and provide evidence or information to support this
- Be clear and specific about what kind of amendments or corrections you are seeking (for example, add a note to the document explaining how you would like the RMH to amend your record)
An amendment to your medical record may take the form of an alteration or a notation but will not include deleting or expunging the original information.
No fees will be applied to this request, unless you are also seeking a copy of the record. Please see the table under the heading 'How much does it cost?' for the copy of record release fees.
See Request an amendment on the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) website for more information.
How do I apply?
Applications must be in writing to the RMH FOI service and can requested by:
- Using the FOI application form (193KB - PDF document)
- Submitting your request in writing by letter
The request must clearly describe which documents you wish to access. Applications must be accompanied by the application fee (listed below) and proof of identify (photo identification).
You may only obtain another person’s records if you have their written authority to do so. This may be written consent from the individual or other legal documents that support your request.
If the patient is deceased, the senior next of kin must provide written authorisation and provide evidence to demonstrate that they are the senior next of kin.
How much does it cost?
The cost involved will vary according to each request. In some instances the application fee may be waived if evidence of financial hardship, Health Care Card or Pension Card can be provided.
These fees are effective from 1 July 2023.
|$31.80 (Non refundable)
|$5.00 per quarter-hour or part thereof
|Search and Retrieval fee (if applicable)
|$23.90 per hour or part thereof
|$0.05 per page
|$0.20 per page
|Radiology images (via link)
|$20.00 per link
|Medical illustrations (USB)
|$20.00 per USB
|$11.00 when sent via registered mail
|If you are the holder of a current Health Care/pension card, the application fee can be waved. In this circumstance, please send a copy of the entitlement card.
|Appeal to Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal
How long does it take?
Once a valid application is received, the RMH has 30 days to inform you of a decision about your request. There may be circumstances where we need to consult with you to extend the 30 day period.
All outstanding charges relating to your request will need to be paid before the records are sent to you.
Accessing medical records for continuing care
Your doctor or specialist can request information directly from the Health information Services department if it is required for ongoing care.
See Requesting patient information for more information.