The Yukon Territory has recently introduced legislation to govern the  collection, use and disclosure of Personal Health Information. The Health Information Privacy and Management Act,  Bill No 61 received first reading on November 6, 2013 and second reading on November 12th.  The legislation also enables health information to be managed through an electronic network and details the roles of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Courts in relation to the privacy of personal health information.

For the purposes of the legislation, “ health information” of an individual means:

identifying information of the individual, in unrecorded or recorded form, that

  1. relates to the individual’s health or the provision of health care to the individual,
  2. relates to payments for health care,
  3. relates to the donation by the individual of any body part, tissue or bodily substance of the individual,
  4. is derived from the testing, including genetic testing, or examination of any body part, tissue or bodily substance of the individual, or
  5. is prescribed in regulations which will follow

As with similar legislation in the Provinces, the Yukon approach is to have the legislation apply to “custodians” defined as:

  1. the Department, of Health and Social Services
  2. the operator of a hospital or health facility,
  3. a health care provider,
  4. a prescribed branch, operation or program of a Yukon First Nation,
  5. the Minister,
  6. a person who, in another province
  1. performs functions substantially similar to the functions performed by a health care provider, and
  2. is, in the performance of those functions, subject to an enactment, of Canada or a province, that governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information or personal health information, or
  1. a prescribed person to be set out in regulations which will follow

Similarly, a “health care provider” is defined as:

  1. a medical practitioner,
  2. a registered nurse or nurse practitioner,
  3. a licensed practical nurse as defined in the Licensed Practical Nurses Act,
  4. a pharmacist,
  5. a chiropractor as defined in the Chiropractors Act,
  6. an optometrist,
  7. a dentist,
  8. a dental assistant, dental therapist or dental hygienist, as those terms are defined in the Dental Profession Act,
  9. a denturist,
  10. an individual who is a member of a designated health profession as defined in theHealth Professions Act,
  11. a professional corporation entitled to practice health care through or on behalf of an individual listed in paragraph (a) through (j), or
  12. a prescribed person to be set out in regulations which will follow.

The Information and Privacy Commissioner has general oversight with respect to complaints relating to allegations that an individual has not been given access to his or her personal health information or that the legislation has been breached by a custodian. The Commissioner only makes a recommendation. If the recommendation is not followed, a complainant may have recourse to the Superior Court, by way of an appeal.

This is only a high-level overview of the legislation. If you are interested in more information, read the full text here  We will keep you posted when the legislation comes into effect.