Statutory Review of the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) Terms of Reference


The Personal Health Information Act, SNL2008, c. P-7.01 (PHIA) came into force on April 1, 2011. Pursuant to section 91 of the PHIA, the Minister Responsible for the Department of Health and Community Services (HCS) is required to refer the legislation to a committee for a review after the expiration of not more than five years after its coming into force and every five years thereafter. This is the first review since the proclamation of the legislation.

  1. Overview

    The Committee will complete a review of the Personal Health Information Act and provide recommendations arising from the review to the Minister Responsible for the Department of Health and Community Services (the Minister), Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. This review will be conducted in an open, transparent and respectful manner and will engage citizens and stakeholders in a meaningful way. The privacy of those who partake in consultations and share information with the committee will be protected.

  2. Committee Members

    David Mogan: Committee Chair
    Jeannie House: Committee Member
    Marian Crowley: Committee Member
    Daryl Pullman: Committee Member
    Blaine Edwards: Review Committee Coordinator
    Michael Bannister: Ex Officio

  3. Deliverables

    The Committee will prepare a final report for submission to the Minister. The report will include:

    • an executive summary;
    • a summary of the research and analysis of the legislative provisions and leading practices in similar jurisdictions;
    • a summary of the public consultation process including information regarding types and numbers of participants, issues and concerns, emerging themes, and recommendations brought forward by citizens and stakeholders; and
    • detailed findings and recommendations for the Minister’s consideration.
  4. Scope of the Work

    1. The Committee will conduct a comprehensive review of the provisions and operations of the Act which will include, but not be limited to, the following:

      • The PHIA Review Committee will conduct public consultations, review all submissions, as well as provide the analysis and recommendations for the report(s);
      • Identify the successes and challenges within the first five years of PHIA;
      • Evaluate the provisions of the Act and Regulations;
      • Determine if specific intended outcomes regarding the protection of personal health information have been achieved;
      • Determine if the Act’s provisions concerning privacy breaches and the response to privacy breaches is sufficient;
      • Whether the current definitions are appropriate and/or if further classes of persons or entities who handle personal health information are needed;
      • Whether the current provisions concerning consent of individuals is sufficient to address current and future needs;
      • Assess the operation of the Act and Regulations, including whether custodians of this province have adopted practices that align with PHIA and whether there are gaps that would enable stronger compliance to the Act; and
      • Whether there are any additional uses or disclosures of personal health information that should be permitted under the Act.
    2. Consideration of standards and leading practices in other jurisdictions:

      • The Committee will conduct an examination of leading international and Canadian practices, legislation and academic literature related to personal health information legislative frameworks and identify opportunities and challenges experienced by other jurisdictions;
      • The Committee will specifically consult with the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Newfoundland and Labrador regarding any concerns of the Commissioner with existing legislative provisions, and the Commissioner’s views as to key issues and leading practices.
  5. Resources and Budget.

    1. An amount $30,000 has been budgeted to support the Review Committee;
    2. The Department of Health and Community Services will provide administrative support to the Review Committee which will include the Manager of Privacy and Information Security act as the Review Committee Coordinator.

    Other resources will be made available as needed.

  6. Timeline

    1. The review committee will aim to have the final report submitted to the Department of Health and Community Services no later than 31st March, 2017.
  7. Transparency and Accountability

    1. All written submissions are to be made publically available.
    2. The committee will limit non-public consultations only to those who wish to clarify previous submitted written submissions.
    3. The committee will protect the privacy and confidentiality of submissions from the general public.