Who is subject to the Act? back to main

The Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act (the “Act”) is the first access and privacy legislation to apply to health care providers in both public and private sectors in New Brunswick. It may be confusing for some as to who is in fact subject to the Act. Most individuals or organizations involved in the health care sector are subject.

If you read the Act, you will see that it refers to health care providers as “custodians”. Custodians are individuals or organizations that handle personal health information in order to provide or assist in the delivery of health care, so the list of who is a custodian is especially broad and encompasses many different professions and businesses.

Here is a list, which is not exhaustive, of custodians identified in the Act:
  • Health care providers (doctors, dentists, massage therapists, psychologists, etc.)
  • Health care facilities (hospitals, community health centres, medical clinics, pharmacies, or any other facility in which health care is provided and that is designated in the regulations)
  • Laboratories or specimen collection centres
  • Nursing homes, including their operators as defined in the Nursing Homes Act
  • Regional health authorities (Horizon Health Network and Réseau de santé Vitalité)
  • Ambulance New Brunswick Inc.
  • FacilicorpNB Ltd.
  • The Canadian Blood Services
  • The New Brunswick Health Council
  • The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (WorkSafe NB)
  • Public bodies which handle personal health information
  • The Minister of Health
  • Information managers ( those who, on behalf of custodians, processes, stores, retrieves, archives or disposes of personal health information, de-identify or transform this information, or who provide information management or information technology services)
  • Researchers conducting a research project approved in accordance with this Act
  • A person designated in the regulations as a custodian (ex. schools or school districts, coroners, the successor of a custodian, registered social workers, and New Brunswick members of the Canadian Health Information Management Association.)

The Act sets out rules on how custodians (or in other words, health care providers) collect, maintain, use, disclose, and protect the personal health information of their clients or patients.

While the definition of custodian is broad, the Act does not apply to individuals or organizations that handle personal health information for purposes other than health care.

Those who are not covered by the Act include:
  • Employers
  • Insurance companies
  • Regulatory bodies of health care providers
  • Licensed or registered health care providers who do not provide health care
  • The New Brunswick Insurance Board
  • The New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
  • The Labour and Employment Board
  • The Designation Appeal Board established under the Post-Secondary Student Financial Assistance Act
  • The Premier’s Council on the Status of the Disabled
  • A review board or tribunal appointed by the Mental Health Act
  • The Mental Health Services Advisory Committee established under the Mental Health Services Act
  • A person, service or organization designated as psychiatric patient advocate services under the Mental Health Act
  • A review board established by the Restigouche Hospital Center Inc.
  • The Appeal Tribunals established by the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission Act