Under the Right to Information Act 2009 and the Information Privacy Act 2009, access can be refused to information if it might be detrimental to an applicant's physical or mental wellbeing. In some circumstances, despite the refusal, a decision may be made to allow an applicant's nominated healthcare provider to provide access to the information. These are referred to as healthcare decisions.
The power to make healthcare decisions cannot be delegated in the ordinary manner: only the principal officer or a properly appointed healthcare professional can make a healthcare decision. Under OIC's current approach to making healthcare decisions, where an application includes documents that will require a healthcare decision and documents that will not, two decisions can be made on the application: the healthcare decision and a standard access decision.
The updated guideline sets this out in detail: Making Healthcare Decisions and includes sample text for inclusion in decision letters. There is also a short video, which serves as an introduction and can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSy2EcG-ets.
For more information, please contact the Enquiries Service on 07 3234 7373, and select option 2 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.