Right to Information
Accessing Information held by WSLHD
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) replaced the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (NSW) from 1 July 2010, introducing new right to information reforms that focus on making government information more readily available. The GIPA Act applies to all NSW government agencies, including WSLHD. The new right to information laws promotes openness, accountability and transparency and makes government agencies more proactive in providing information to the public.
Under the the GIPA Act there are four ways that government information will be released:
State and local Government agencies are required to publish specific open access information on their website, free of charge. For example, this could include a register of government contracts, policies and annual reports.
You can view the resources page for more details on this type of information.
You can ask WSLHD what information it will make available to the public, in addition to the information contained on its website. Under the GIPA Act, WSLHD is encouraged to release as much information as possible, in an appropriate way and free of charge (or at the lowest reasonable cost). The Media and Communications Unit can be contacted on (02) 8890 8258 during business hours.
You can request specific information from WSLHD. WSLHD will release information without the need for a formal application, unless there are good reasons to require one. Your first point of contact should be the Media and Communications Unit on (02)88908258 during business hours.
Formal release is the last resort. If you haven't been able to get the information you need in any other way you can formally request specific information from WSLHD. In limited circumstances, access to information will require a formal access application.
Accessing Health Care Records or Health Information
Requesting health care records or health information from WSLHD
You are entitled to request access (subject to some limited exceptions) to your own health records or health information. For further information refer to the WSLHD Privacy Information for patients/clients leaflet
To apply to view or obtain copies of your own health care record or health information, the WSLHD Application for Health Care Records form should be completed and sent to the relevant WSLHD facility you attended. Contact details for each facility are included on the back of the form.
If you wish to request access to the health care record or health information of another person you must also complete this application form.
Applications for health care records or health information will be processed in accordance with the Health Records Information and Privacy Act 2002.
To apply for your health care record, see the list of facilities and their contact details here.
Sending a subpoena to WSLHD for health care records or health information
If you wish to subpoena a health care record from a WSLHD hospital, send the subpoena directly to the Health Information and Record Service in the hospital. Click here for the street and postal addresses of WSLHD hospitals.
Community Health Records
If you wish to subpoena a health care record from a Community Health Centre, send the subpoena directly to the Community Health Centre. Click here for the street and postal addresses of WSLHD Community Health Centres.
Making a Formal Application for Information under the GIPA Act
A formal application for information must:
- be in writing. A formal request may be made with the application form provided by WSLHD GIPA Act Access Application Form (PDF)
- clearly indicate that it is an access application made under the GIPA Act
- be accompanied by a fee of $30.00 which may be reduced by 50% in cases of financial hardship or for special benefit to the public
- state a postal address in Australia as the address for correspondence in connection with the application
- include enough information to enable the information requested to be identified
Processing charges may also apply, however, if there will be considerable additional costs incurred by your formal access application under the GIPA Act, you will be advised of the estimated costs before the work starts.
WSLHD may ask for a 50% advance deposit from you if the cost estimated for the work to be undertaken is an amount that exceeds the application fee. If you do not pay this deposit WSLHD may not proceed with the request.
Once a WSLHD officer has made a decision on your access application you will be notified of the outcome of your request. If access is not provided, either in whole or in part because there is an overriding public interest against disclosure, you will be advised of the reasons for this decision.
You can post your application form to or lodge it with:
Right to Information Coordinator
Western Sydney Local Health District
Building 60, Pine Cottage
Locked Bag 7118
Parramatta CBD 2124
You have a right to request a review of a decision regarding the release of information if you disagree with any of the decisions specified in section 80 of the GIPA Act.
More information about your review rights can be found on the Information and Privacy Commission website.
A request for an internal review, by WSLHD, should be made using the WSLHD GIPA Internal Review form (PDF) or in a letter.
For further information please contact the WSLHD Right to Information Coordinator on (02) 8860 2550 or by email WSLHD-GIPA@health.nsw.gov.au