The Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA), states that only a person or institution that provides a provincially funded health care resource may require individuals to produce their health cards.
For example, the staff at your doctor’s office, hospital, walk-in-clinic or medical laboratory can require that you present your health card prior to receiving health care services.
Health care providers, such as dentists, pharmacists and physiotherapists are not required to see your health card since their services are not typically provincially funded.
It is important to note that there is a difference between asking you to voluntarily provide your health card and requiring you to produce your health card.
PHIPA states that only a person who provides a provincially funded health care resource may require you to produce your health card. However, there is nothing in PHIPA that prevents an institution from requesting your health card, as long as it is made clear that disclosure is voluntary.
CAN I USE MY HEALTH CARD FOR IDENTIFICATION PURPOSES?
Nothing prevents you from voluntarily choosing to show your health card in order to verify your identity. For example, you may voluntarily decide to provide your health card to librarians in order to confirm your identity and obtain a library card. In turn, librarians may view your health card, but are not permitted to record the health number.
If you have any concerns that your health card number has been misused, you can contact our office.