Hospitals warned to ‘cleanse’ files before 2012


The chances of ever uncovering the backroom wheeling and dealing that led up to Paul Collins’ momentary lapse into retirement before re-appearing on the scene last summer in his capacity as CEO at St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital now appear extremely remote at best as per this posting from the
OPSEU blog.
. . .

There are further signs that by the time hospitals are subject to Freedom of Information legislation in 2012, what’s left to get won’t be worth the effort.

QMI Agency reports that hospitals are being warned to “cleanse” their files of anything that might embarrass them before the public gets the right to access it come January 2012.

The warnings come from Toronto-based law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt. Many hospitals across Ontarioare on OH&H’s client list.

“I was astounded at the language,” Ann Cavoukian,Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, told the newspaper. “Just using the word ‘cleansing’ is highly inappropriate. It suggests shredding, eliminating, hiding – getting rid of material before the end of the year.”

Health Minister Deb Matthews said she expects hospitals to “embrace the spirit” of the legislation.

However, while this is taking place, the province itself has slipped an amendment into the budget bill that will exclude hospitals form divulging “information provided to, or records prepared by, a hospital committee for the purposes of evaluating the quality of health care and directly related programs and services provided by the hospital.”

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