F and West Moreton Regional Health Authority
(1993 S0114, 26 September 1994)
This case illustrates principles set out in Stewart and Department of Transport (1993) 1 QAR 227 regarding the meaning of the phrase “personal affairs of a person”. The applicant, a psychiatric patient, sought access to the names of other patients mentioned in the applicant’s medical records. A person’s health or ill-health falls within the core meaning of the term “personal affairs”. As disclosure of the names of the other patients would reveal that they had received treatment for psychiatric illness, their names were prima facie exempt from disclosure to the applicant by virtue of s.44(1) of the FOI Act. The public interest balancing test in s.44(1) did not assist the applicant, there being no public interest considerations in favour of the disclosure to the applicant of the names of other psychiatric patients. In that regard, the applicant was not able to obtain assistance from s.6 of the FOI Act because the names of the other patients did not concern his personal affairs.