Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Doctors' billings in Nova Scotia is private information under FOIPOP

On Friday, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruled that individual billings by physicians in the province should not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The decision isn't online yet at www.courts.ns.ca or www.canlii.org, but I'll post a link when it's up.

In the meantime, here's some coverage from the Halifax Chronicle Herald:

The ChronicleHerald.ca:

Court keeps doctors’ payments secret


Nova Scotia doctors will not be required to disclose to government their fees for services rendered, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal ruled Friday.

In April, members of Doctors Nova Scotia appealed an earlier Supreme Court of Nova Scotia decision that ordered all physicians in the province to hand over any MSI fee-for-service billing records, with their names attached.

Joanna Redden of the NDP made the request in July 2004, claiming the information was pertinent to helping solve the province’s health-care crisis.

The doctors had no problem providing the financial information but said the inclusion of the physicians’ names was a gross invasion of privacy.

Justices Joel Fichaud, Thomas Cromwell and Linda Oland, who heard the appeal on April 5, agreed.

"The disclosure of the names of individual physicians would be an unreasonable invasion of the physician’s privacy," the decision says.


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