The Toronto Star has reported on a lawsuit involving a Peterborough hospital that could have wide-ranging implications for patient privacy in all of Ontario’s hospitals. At issue, is whether patients whose privacy has been breached can sue a hospital directly. The hospital in Peterborough has argued that the Superior Court has no jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit because under Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, (PHIPA) personal health information privacy violations are solely the domain of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. However, Acting Commissioner, Brian Beamish has stated that his office does not have exclusive jurisdiction over matters of patient privacy and that PHIPA does not prevent the courts from hearing cases related to the improper handling of personal health information.
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