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RSNL2018 CHAPTER C-5.2

CENTRE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION ACT, 2018

 

CHAPTER C-5.2

AN ACT RESPECTING THE NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR CENTRE FOR HEALTH INFORMATION

(Assented to March 12, 2018)

Analysis



Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Centre for Health Information Act, 2018 .

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Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "board" means the board of directors of the centre;

             (b)  "centre" means the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information;

             (c)  "department" means the department presided over by the minister;

             (d)  "director" means a person appointed to the board under section 7;

             (e)  "electronic health record" means a province-wide record of a patient's health care history that is available electronically;

             (f)  "information system" includes

                      (i)  the information, applications and related technology that support the clinical and administrative operations of regional health authorities and other health service providers, and

                     (ii)  the electronic health record and components related to the electronic health record;

             (g)  "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

             (h)  "personal health information" means personal health information as defined in the Personal Health Information Act ;

              (i)  "personal information" means personal information as defined in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 ; and

              (j)  "regional health authority" means a regional health authority established under the Regional Health Authorities Act .

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Centre

        3. (1) The Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information is continued as a corporation without share capital for the purposes of the Corporations Act .

             (2)  The centre is exempt from section 423 of the Corporations Act .

             (3)  The centre is an agent of the Crown.

             (4)  Property of the centre is the property of the Crown and title to it shall be held in the name of the centre.

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Objects

        4. (1) The objects of the centre are

             (a)  to assist and support individuals, communities, regional health authorities and other health service providers and policy makers at federal, provincial and regional levels to enhance the health and well-being of persons in the province through the planning and delivery of health and community services by

                      (i)  developing, operating and managing a comprehensive and aligned information system that fully integrates and uses data and health information from all components of the health and community services system for the delivery of health care and health system planning,

                     (ii)  developing data and technical standards and keeping them up-to-date,

                    (iii)  managing provincial health data and information assets,

                    (iv)  preparing health reports and conducting applied health research and evaluation, and

                     (v)  providing health analytics and decision support services;

             (b)  to protect the privacy of individuals whose personal information or personal health information is collected, used, disclosed, stored or disposed of by the centre in accordance with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 and the Personal Health Information Act ; and

             (c)  those other objects prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  The information system referred to in subparagraph (1)(a)(i) shall

             (a)  protect the confidentiality and security of personal information and personal health information that is collected, used, disclosed, stored or disposed of by the centre;

             (b)  provide accurate and current information;

             (c)  be efficient and cost-effective; and

             (d)  be flexible and responsive to the changing requirements of the system.

             (3)  The centre shall operate without the purpose of gain and any excess revenue shall be used for the objects in subsection (1).

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Ministerial directions

        5. (1) The minister may give directions to the centre including directions for the purpose of

             (a)  achieving the objects set out in section 4;

             (b)  providing guidelines for the centre to follow in carrying out its duties and responsibilities and exercising its powers under this Act; and

             (c)  coordinating the work of the centre with the programs, policies and work of the government of the province, the agencies of the government and other persons in the provision of health and community services in the province.

             (2)  The centre shall comply with directions given by the minister under subsection (1).

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Centre's powers

        6. (1) The centre may

             (a)  purchase, lease or otherwise acquire personal property;

             (b)  sell, lease or otherwise dispose of personal property;

             (c)  unless prohibited by the regulations, charge fees for preparing health reports and conducting applied health research and evaluation; and

             (d)  exercise the other powers that are necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities and exercise its powers under this Act.

             (2)  The centre may, with the approval of the minister,

             (a)  purchase, lease or otherwise acquire real property, or an interest in real property, that it considers necessary for its purposes;

             (b)  sell, lease or otherwise dispose of real property or an interest in real property where the real property is no longer required for its purposes;

             (c)  borrow money for the purpose of carrying out its day to day operations or pledge its assets; and

             (d)  make investments or loans.

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Board of directors

        7. (1) The board of directors of the centre shall consist of a minimum of 5 directors and a maximum of 14 directors.

             (2)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint the directors of the board.

             (3)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint one of the directors as chairperson and one as vice-chairperson.

             (4)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), the minister shall appoint an employee of the department and an employee of the Office of the Chief Information Officer as directors.

             (5)  The directors shall serve without remuneration but directors may be paid the amounts for travel and other expenses incurred in the work of the centre in accordance with guidelines established by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

             (6)  The board shall exercise all of the powers and discharge all of the duties of the corporation and administer and manage its business.

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Term of office

        8. (1) A director appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall hold office for 3 years from the date his or her appointment becomes effective.

             (2)  Where the term of a director expires, he or she continues to be a director until reappointed or replaced.

             (3)  A director whose term of office has expired is eligible for reappointment.

             (4)  A director appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall not serve as a director for a continuous period longer than 9 years.

             (5)  A director appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may resign the office of director by written notice to the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.

             (6)  The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may remove a director from office before the term of office of that director expires.

             (7)  Where the Lieutenant-Governor in Council removes a director under subsection (6), the director does not have a cause of action against the Crown nor a right to compensation as a result of the removal.

             (8)  The exercise of the powers of the centre is not impaired because of a vacancy on the board.

             (9)  All acts done by the board or by a director shall, notwithstanding that it is afterwards discovered that there was a defect in the appointment or qualification of a person purporting to be a director, be as valid as if that defect had not existed.

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Chairperson

        9. (1) The chairperson appointed under section 7 shall preside over all meetings of the board.

             (2)  Where the chairperson is absent or the office of chairperson is vacant, the vice-chairperson shall act in his or her place and in the absence of the vice-chairperson or where the office of vice-chairperson is vacant the board may choose another director to act in the place of the chairperson.

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Meetings

      10. (1) A majority of the directors constitutes a quorum for meetings of the board.

             (2)  Except where prohibited in the by-laws of the centre, a director may, where all the directors consent, participate in a meeting of the board by means of a telephone or another telecommunication device that permits all persons participating in the meeting to communicate with each other.

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Annual general meeting

      11. (1) The board shall hold

             (a)  an annual meeting, which shall be open to the public, at the time and place set out in the by-laws of the board, but the meeting shall be held not later than 6 months after the end of the financial year; and

             (b)  other meetings in accordance with the by-laws of the board.

             (2)  Notice of the annual meeting shall be provided to the public.

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Employees

      12. The centre may appoint the officers and engage the employees and other persons it considers necessary to carry out its duties and responsibilities and to exercise its powers.

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Chief executive officer

      13. (1) The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint, after consultation with the board, a chief executive officer for the centre and shall determine the terms and conditions of employment of that chief executive officer.

             (2)  The chief executive officer, under the direction of the board, is responsible for the day to day management and conduct of the affairs of the centre.

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Funding

      14. (1) The minister may provide funding to the centre for the purpose of this Act out of money appropriated by the legislature for that purpose.

             (2)  Money provided to the centre for a particular purpose shall not be expended by the centre for another purpose without the prior approval of the minister.

             (3)  The financial year of the centre is April 1 to the following March 31.

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Withholding of funding

      15. The minister may withhold a payment, or part of a payment, to the centre until the centre has complied with this Act or a direction of the minister given under section 5.

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Budget

      16. (1) The centre shall, annually, prepare and submit to the minister, at the time and in the manner required by the minister, a budget containing estimates of amounts necessary to enable the centre to carry out its duties and responsibilities and exercise its powers in the coming financial year.

             (2)  The minister may approve or disapprove a budget submitted under subsection (1) or may approve a budget subject to the changes to it required by the minister.

             (3)  Except with the prior approval of the minister, the centre shall not make, or contract to become liable for, an expenditure or indebtedness beyond or in excess of the estimated amount of expenditure set out in its budget and approved by the minister under this section.

             (4)  Where the centre becomes liable for an indebtedness contrary to subsection (3), the Lieutenant-Governor in Council may dismiss some or all of the directors.

             (5)  Where the Lieutenant-Governor in Council dismisses a director under subsection (4), the director does not have a cause of action against the Crown nor a right to compensation as a result of the dismissal.

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Auditor

      17. The centre shall appoint an independent auditor who shall, annually, audit the records, accounts and financial transactions of the centre.

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Annual report and audit

      18. (1) The centre shall submit to the minister before September 30 of each year

             (a)  a report on its activities in the preceding financial year; and

             (b)  audited financial statements for the preceding financial year.

             (2)  The report and statements referred to in subsection (1) shall be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Assembly and the Speaker shall table the report and statements in the House of Assembly immediately after receipt of the report by him or her or, where the House of Assembly is not then sitting, within 7 days after it resumes sitting.

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Review or audit by minister

      19. (1) The centre shall keep accounts and other financial records and information as required by the regulations.

             (2)  The centre shall provide information to the minister respecting its accounts and other financial records in the manner and at the time required by the minister.

             (3)  The centre shall permit the minister to review its books of account and other financial records.

             (4)  The minister may audit the accounts of the centre either generally or with respect to a specific transaction or expenditure and, where the minister decides to conduct the audit, the centre shall provide the minister with the information and other assistance required by the minister within the time required by the minister.

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Request for documents

      20. Where requested to do so by the minister, the centre shall provide the minister with the records, reports and other documents he or she specifies in the request.

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By-laws

      21. The board may make by-laws not inconsistent with this Act or the regulations relating to its internal organization and proceedings and for the general conduct and management of its affairs.

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Committees

      22. The board may establish those committees composed of its directors that it considers necessary to assist it in carrying out its duties and responsibilities and exercising its powers under this Act.

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Action prohibited

      23. An action for damages shall not lie against the board, a director or an officer or employee of the centre for an act or failure to act, or a proceeding initiated or carried out in good faith under this Act, or carrying out their duties or obligations as an officer, employee or director under this Act.

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Appointment of administrator

      24. (1) Where the centre is, in the opinion of the minister, in serious financial difficulty, the minister, subject to the approval of the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, may appoint a person as an administrator who shall have the power to carry out the duties and responsibilities and exercise the powers conferred on the centre and the board, including the duties, responsibilities and powers of a custodian under the Personal Health Information Act .

             (2)  Upon the appointment of an administrator, the directors shall cease to hold office and the directors and the board shall no longer direct the affairs of the centre or carry out the duties and responsibilities or exercise the powers conferred on the board by this Act.

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Regulations

      25. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations respecting

             (a)  the objects of the centre;

             (b)  the provision by the centre of administrative, technical and physical safeguards for the confidentiality and security of personal information and personal health information that is collected, used, disclosed, stored or disposed of by the centre;

             (c)  the preparation of a privacy impact assessment of the activities of the centre involving the collection, use, disclosure, storage or disposal of personal information and personal health information;

             (d)  the terms and conditions under which information other than personal health information may be released to the centre under

                      (i)  the Medical Care and Hospital Insurance Act ,

                     (ii)  the Vital Statistics Act, 2009 , and

                    (iii)  another Act or regulation;

             (e)  the disclosure of information other than personal health information to persons or bodies located outside the province;

             (f)  when the charging of fees by the centre for preparing health reports and conducting applied health research and evaluation is prohibited;

             (g)  the provision of records, reports and other documents by the centre to the minister including the content, form and timing of the records, reports and other documents;

             (h)  the funding of the centre including

                      (i)  the manner of determining funding,

                     (ii)  the allocation of funds,

                    (iii)  the expenditure of funds, and

                    (iv)  advances and the recovery of overpayments;

              (i)  the borrowing and investment powers of the centre;

              (j)  the accounts and other financial records and information that must be kept by the centre and whether that information shall be kept confidential;

             (k)  the conduct of a review of the operations of the centre;

              (l)  the winding-up of the affairs of and the dissolution of the centre;

           (m)  the appointment of an administrator under section 24 and the powers and duties of an administrator;

             (n)  defining a word or expression used but not defined in this Act; and

             (o)  generally, to give effect to the purpose of this Act.

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Transitional

      26. A person who is a director of the centre immediately before the coming into force of this Act shall continue to be a director.

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SNL1995 cP-37.1 Amdt.

      27. Section 4.01 of the Health and Community Services Act is repealed and the following substituted: 

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Release of information

   4.01 Either

             (a)  a board established under section 4; or

             (b)  the department

may release information, including personal information as defined in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 , to the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information in accordance with the Centre for Health Information Act, 2018 and regulations made under that Act.

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SNL2016 cI-2.1 Amdt.

      28. The Schedule to the Independent Appointments Commission Act is amended by deleting the statutory appointment reference "Centre for Health Information Act , subsection 6(1)" and replacing it with the statutory appointment reference "Centre for Health Information Act, 2018 , subsections 7(2) and 13(1)".

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SNL2011 cM-4.02 Amdt.

      29. Subsection 77(2) of the Medical Act, 2011 is repealed and the following substituted:

             (2)  A medical practitioner may prescribe a drug or drug product electronically, including a drug or drug product included in the list under subsection 26(2) of the Pharmaceutical Services Act , through the pharmacy network established by the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information under the Centre for Health Information Act, 2018 .

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SNL2016 cM-5.01 Amdt.

      30. Paragraph 4(1)(j) of the Medical Care and Hospital Insurance Act is repealed and the following substituted:

              (j)  for the purpose of releasing information, including personal  health information as defined in the Personal Health Information Act , to the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information in accordance with the Centre for Health Information Act, 2018 and regulations made under that Act; or

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SNL2008 cP-7.01 Amdt.

      31. Paragraph 2(1)(c) of the Personal Health Information Act is repealed and the following substituted:

             (c)  "Centre for Health Information" means the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information continued as a corporation under the Centre for Health Information Act , 2018 ;

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SNL2009 cV-6.01 Amdt.

      32. Paragraph 41(2)(a) of the Vital Statistics Act, 2009 is repealed and the following substituted:

             (a)  the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information in accordance with the Centre for Health Information Act, 2018 and regulations made under that Act;

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NLR 104/09 Amdt.

      33. Paragraph 2(b) of the Pharmacy Network Regulations published under the Personal Health Information Act is repealed and the following substituted:

             (b)  "Centre for Health Information" means the centre continued under the Centre for Health Information Act, 2018 .

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SNL2004 cC-5.1 Rep.

      34. The Centre for Health Information Act is repealed.

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