The following information is about Freedom of Information from Citizens Information
Freedom of Information to access your Medical Information
- The Health Service Executive (HSE)
- Voluntary hospitals
- Some health agencies
- GP records
How to access my medical records using Freedom of Information
How to access somebody else’s medical records
- Your child if you are the parent or guardian
- An adult you care for if they are unable to exercise their rights
Can I access a person's medical records after they die?
- The personal representative administering the estate of the person who died
- Performing some legal function related to the person who died or their estate
- Their spouse (this includes a divorced spouse or cohabitee), next of kin or another person that the head of the public body considers appropriate
Accessing Medical Information in Court
Health Service Executive National Information Line
What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the right to access records held by FOI bodies. FOI bodies must give you an explanation if you are not given what you asked for and the decision must normally be made within 4 weeks.
What can I ask for?
You can ask for any of the following.
- Any records relating to you personally, whenever created
- All other records created after the effective date
- Determining whether it holds the information requested;
- Locating the information or documents containing the information
- Retrieving such information or documents
- Extracting the information from the files, documents, electronic or other information sources containing both it and other material not relevant to the request, and
- Preparing a schedule specifying the records for consideration for release.
- specify that the request is being made
- enough so that the public body to whom the request is addressed understands what records are being requested. In cases where the public body is not clear what records are being requested, it must assist the requester to put his/her request in such a way that the records being sought can be identified.
- When you are seeking information which is personal, you will be required to supply the appropriate identification as required by the decision maker.
- In cases where you are seeking to access records relating to a deceased person under section 37(8), you will be required to provide additional details in order to exercise these rights.
You may be able to obtain the information you require by other means such as:
A record includes a book or other written or printed material which is in any form including in any electronic device. It is a map, plan or drawing, a disc, tape or film which contains visual or non-visual images or a copy of any of these.
Do I have to pay for getting information under FOI?
When the request is for personal information there are no charges unless there is a significant number of records.
In the case of requests which relate to non-personal information there are charges are applied for search retrieval and copying. The relevant section of the Act here is Section 27(2) and these fees relate to:
There are also fees which apply for an internal review under Section 22, this is €30 and €10 for medical card holders and their dependants. The fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner is €50 and €15 for medical card holders and their dependants
Can I appeal a decision?
If you are not satisfied with the decision made you can seek an internal review of the decision which is a complete and new review of your request by someone more senior. If following this you are still not satisfied you can appeal this decision to the Office of the Information Commissioner.