Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner
News Release: Health custodians challenge IPC's jurisdiction to consider complaints against them
Mon, Dec 18, 2017
December 18, 2017
Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner releases two HIPMA decisions after health custodians challenge her jurisdiction to consider complaints against them
WHITEHORSE – The Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) released two decisions under the Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA). Her decisions relate to challenges made by the Department of Health and Social Services and the Yukon Hospital Corporation. They claimed the IPC lost jurisdiction by not completing her consideration of the complaints made against them within the timelines established under HIPMA.
The IPC found that the provisions in HIPMA limiting her time to complete a ‘consideration’ are not mandatory and, as a result, she didn’t lose her jurisdiction despite going over the timelines.
She said, “The consequences of a loss of jurisdiction are substantial because the complainants can only address their complaints through HIPMA. It’s a complete governance scheme for the collection, use, disclosure and management of their personal health information.”
Under HIPMA, complainants have the right to an independent investigation into their complaints. There is no other legislative avenue available to them. Independent investigation is a key measure of holding custodians accountable for compliance.
A loss of jurisdiction would result in a serious injustice to the complainants because they have no control over the IPC’s consideration process. In addition, the purposes of HIPMA would be critically undermined if complainants are deprived of their only recourse to have their complaints about custodial non-compliance addressed.
The IPC informed both custodians that she is continuing to consider the complaints as a result of her findings. The IPC’s two decisions are ‘HIP16-02I Department of Health and Social Services’ and ‘HIP17-08I Yukon Hospital Corporation’.
Information and Privacy Commissioner