Privacy

The Ministry of Health is committed to respecting personal privacy, safeguarding confidential information and ensuring the security of personal health information within our custody or control for the Ontario Health Data Platform.

The Ministry of Health has obligations as the health information custodian for the Ontario Health Data Platform.

The Ontario Health Data Platform is a secure, privacy-protected, high performance computing environment to perform health-related COVID-19 research and analytics. The data collected originates from Ontario’s publicly funded health care system and includes information extracted from Ontario’s health care system, such as:

  • clinical information systems and registries, genomics, public health, hospital, laboratory, and diagnostic imaging information system;
  • hospital discharge summaries and emergency department visits;
  • physician claims submitted to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan;
  • medical drug claims submitted to the Ontario Drug Benefit Program; and
  • claims submitted for home care and long-term care.

The Ministry of Health collects the personal health information from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Ontario Health (OH) as permitted under Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

The Ministry of Health uses and discloses the personal health information collected through the Ontario Health Data Platform for researching, analyzing, investigating, preventing, responding to or alleviating COVID-19 or its effects; evaluating or monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the management of, the allocation of resources to or planning for all or part of the health system.

Statement of Information Practices for the Ontario Health Data Platform, click here.

Privacy and Security Governance Structure

The Privacy Program is under the direction of a Privacy Officer with reporting requirements to the Minister of Health through the Director, Information Management Strategy and Policy Branch, Digital Health Division, Ministry of Health.

  1. The Ministry of Health is designated as a "health information custodian" under section 3(1)7 of Ontario's Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA).
  2. On July 30, 2022, section 18 O. Reg. 329/04 under PHIPA was amended in order to require the Institute of Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and Ontario Health, Prescribed Entities for the purposes of section 45(1) to disclose personal health information to the Ministry of Health where the Minister of Health has determined that such discloses is necessary for the purposes of,
    • Researching, analyzing, investigating, preventing, responding to or alleviating COVID-19 or its effects; or
    • Evaluating or monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the management of, the allocation of resources to or planning for all or part of the health system.
  3. The Institute of Clinical and Evaluative Sciences and Ontario Health under subsection 18(12) are not required to disclose personal health information under subsection 18(11) if the disclosure is otherwise prohibited by law or by the terms of an agreement to which the Institute of Clinical and Evaluative Sciences or Ontario Health, as applicable, is a party.
  4. This means the Ministry of Health is permitted to collect, use and disclose personal health information without individual patient consent for the purposes of researching, analyzing, investigating, preventing, responding to or alleviating COVID-19 or its effects or evaluating or monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the management of, the allocation of resources to or planning for all or part of the health system.
  5. The operations of the Ontario Health Data Platform have been reviewed by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario to ensure compliance with the Act and that there are written approved policies and procedures in respect of the collection, use, safeguarding and disclosure of personal health information.

Contact the Privacy Officer

Contact us if you need information or have privacy concerns about the Ontario Health Data Platform’s data holdings, information practices or privacy program:

  • Privacy Officer, Ontario Health Data Platform
    1 Richmond St. West, Suite 401
    Toronto, ON M5H 3W4
    Email: privacy@ohdp.ca

Contact the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario

You have the right to submit any concern or complaint about the information practices for the Ontario Health Data Platform by contacting:

  • Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario
    2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1400
    Toronto, ON M4W 1A8
    Email: info@ipc.ca
    Phone: 416-326-3333 or 1-800-387-0073
    TDD/TTY: 416-325-7539
    Website: www.ipc.on.ca

More Information on Privacy

Privacy Policy
Datasets
Frequently Asked Questions - Privacy

Minister's Letters

Memorandum of Understandings