Right to Information makes it easier for the public to access Central Coast Local Health District information.
What is right to information?
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW).
The new right to information law:
- Creates rights to information that are designed to meet community expectations to an open and transparent government
- Encourages government agencies to proactively release government information
Open access information
Central Coast Local Health District must publish certain information to foster a responsible and representative government that is open, accountable, fair and effective. It is mandatory that this information be made available to the public via our website.
The following open access information may be of interest:
Information classified as excluded under Schedule 1 of the GIPA Act and information determined not for disclosure under the public interest test is not available on the website
NSW Health policy directives and guidelines apply to all NSW Local Health Districts and copies of these documents can be found on the NSW Health website.
Central Coast Local Health District also has its own District-wide policies, procedures and guidelines.
For more information regarding a specific document contact CCLHD-PrivacyRTI@health.nsw.gov.au
Proactive released information
Under the GIPA Act, Central Coast Local Health District is permitted to make information publicly available that is not classified as mandatory.
Informal release of information
Central Coast Local Health District information should be released in response to an informal request unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.
Informal requests occur when the information you are seeking can be provided to you without the need of a formal application. There are no fees associated with informal requests and the majority of time the information can be released efficiently.
Informal requests are not suitable for information requiring third party consultation, personal health information such as medical records or where large amounts of information are requested. In these instances, a formal application will need to be submitted.
Formal access application
Under formal access application, information is requested by submitting a GIPAA access application with an accompanying $30 application fee. Depending on the scope of the request, additional processing fees may also be charged.
A valid formal application for government information must:
- be in writing using the GIPA application form above
- state that it is made under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW)
- have an Australian postal address for return correspondence
- provide enough details to help the agency identify the information the applicant is requesting
- enclose the application fee of $30.
Fees and charges
An application fee of $30 is required to initiate all formal access applications.
Processing charges apply to some applications. For more information on fees and charges
|Nature of Application||Application Fee||Processing Charge|
|Access by individuals to records about their personal information||$30||$30 per hour after first 20 hours|
|All other requests||$30||$30 per hour|
|Internal reviews (all circumstances)||$40||Nil|
|Amendments of records||Nil||Nil|
Access to Government information granted in response to a formal access application may be made conditional on payment of any processing charge imposed for dealing with the application.
Central Coast Local Health District may request an advanced deposit of up to 50% of the total processing time.
You may be eligible to apply for a reduction in processing charges of 50% if one or more of the following apply:
- evidence of financial hardship is shown
- information applied for is of special benefit to the public generally
- the application is from a not-for-profit organisation
How to pay
A cheque or money order made payable to ‘Central Coast Local Health District’ for the prescribed fee must accompany your application.
Timeframe for formal access applications
The Central Coast Local Health District Right to Information Officer must acknowledge receipt of the access application within five working days to the applicant. The GIPA Act requires that the application must be processed within 20 working days, unless the applicant agrees to extend the timeframe.
Central Coast Local Health District may extend the processing time of the application if consultation is required with a third party or records need to be retrieved from archives.
If Central Coast Local Health District does not decide the applicant’s access application within 20 working days the application is automatically considered ‘refused’. The application fee is to be refunded and the applicant may seek an internal or external review of the refusal.
Formal access applications can be submitted by post to:
Right to Information Officer
Ministerial and Executive Services
Central Coast Local Health District
PO Box 361
GOSFORD NSW 2250
Accessing your medical records
You are entitled to request access to personal health information held by NSW Health, this includes your medical record.
You will be asked to apply for access, in writing, and provide identification. You will be charged a fee if you request a copy of this information.
Medical records can be accessed under the GIPA Act, however, medical records are usually accessed under the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (HRIPA). Our Health Information Services is the relevant department that can assist you in gaining access to your health information under HRIPA. Please complete the access to clinical information application when requesting access to your health information.
Information about your rights under HRIPA including security, use, disclosure and access to your health information is outlined in the privacy information for patients brochure.
For further enquiries please contact the medico legal service within Health Information Services on 4320 2023.
If you are unable to locate the information you are looking for on our website or have enquiries about government information, please contact the Right to Information Officer on 02 4320 3570 or CCLHD-PrivacyRTI@health.nsw.gov.au
We will endeavour to advise you where and how you can access the information on our website or:
- Provide a copy of the information,
- Advise you that the information is not readily available, the reason why and whether or not the information will be available at a later date, or
- Recommend a formal access application be submitted
Information and Privacy Commission NSW
If you require further information about the GIPA Act, including fact sheets, review rights and the public interest test, please contact the Information and Privacy Commission:
Phone 1800 472 679