CCH and Department of Health
CCH and Queensland Health (Department of Health)
(2002 S0196, 23 June 2003)
The matter in issue comprised parts of a report prepared by a paediatric expert from the New Children's Hospital, Westmead, at the request of the Minister for Health. The Minister sought the report so as to assess concerns raised with her by the applicant relating to the treatment of his grandson by the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane ('RCH').
During the course of the review, the respondent agreed to give the applicant access to those parts of the report which responded to the particular concerns raised by the applicant with the Minister, i.e., the expert's opinion about the RCH's management of the applicant's grandson's condition, and about the RCH's proposals for the future care of the applicant's grandson The matter remaining in issue related to the expert's opinion about other issues, unrelated to the RCH or its management of the applicant's grandson's condition, and which did not otherwise respond to the specific concerns raised by the applicant with the Minister.
The Deputy Information Commissioner found that such matter was exempt from disclosure to the applicant under s.46(1)(a) of the FOI Act, applying the principles established in B and Brisbane North Regional Health Authority (1994) 1 QAR 279. While there was no evidence of any express assurance of confidentiality as between the expert and the Minister, the Deputy Information Commissioner was satisfied, having regard to the nature and sensitivity of the matter in issue, that it was implicitly understood and accepted by the expert, and by the Minister, that such matter was communicated in confidence.