Purpose and Jurisdiction of the Committee


  1. Purpose:

    Committee to Assess and Give Approval

    The Committee will review requests for access to personal health information for research purposes to determine whether the importance of the research outweighs the intrusion into privacy and whether adequate safeguards are in place to protect the confidentiality of the information. Individuals have the right of protection against unauthorized use, disclosure, or destruction of personal health information by trustees. Authorized use by a health researcher requires that this Committee has determined that the researcher has met all conditions required to be given approval. (PHIA sec 2(d), 24(1), 24(3)) 
  2. Authority:
  • Sec. 22(2): A trustee may disclose personal health information without the consent of the individual if the disclosure is (f) in accordance with section 23 (disclosure to patient’s family), 24 (disclosure for health research) or 25 (disclosure to an information manager).
  • Sec. 24(1): A trustee may disclose personal health information to a person conducting a health research project only if the project has been approved under this section.
  • Sec. 24(2): An approval may be given by (a) the health information privacy committee established under section 59, if the personal health information is maintained by the government or a government agency.
  • Sec. 59(1): For the purpose of approving health research projects under section 24, the minister shall establish a health information privacy committee in accordance with the regulations.
  1. The Committee Membership:
  • The health information privacy committee is to consist of not less than eight and not more than twelve members appointed by the minister.
  • At least one quarter of the persons appointed must be public representatives (sec. 59(2))
  • The minister shall appoint at least one representative from nominations received from each of the following:
    (a) the Council of Chairs of the Regional Health Authorities;
    (b) the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba;
    (c) the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba;
    (d) the Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association;
    (e) the Manitoba Health Information Management Association;
    (f) the University of Manitoba;
  • Each committee member shall be appointed for a term of three years and may sit for a period of no more than two consecutive terms or six years.
  • The committee shall elect a chairperson from among its members.
  1. The Committee shall:
    (a) Review all requests from researchers to obtain and use personal health information maintained by any government department or government agency in order to determine that:
    • the research has to be important enough to outweigh any invasion of privacy involved (sec. 24(3)(a));
    • the research cannot be done without using identifiable personal health care information (sec. 24(3)(b));
    • it is impossible or impractical to get consent from the people the personal health information is about (sec. 24(3)(c));
    • the project ensures the security of the personal health information and its destruction when finished (sec. 24(3)(d)); and
    • the information is the minimum necessary to accomplish the purpose (sec. 20(2)).
    (b) Ensure that required agreements are in place between the researcher and the Trustee.
    (c) Ensure that the disclosure of personal health information does not occur without the consent of the individual, in situations where the research requires direct contact with individuals, with the exception of names and addresses. (sec. 24(5))
    (d) In addition to its responsibilities under section 24, the Health Information Privacy Committee may perform any other functions assigned to it by the Minister. (sec. 59(3))
    (e) Ensure that each request for approval of a health research project under section 24 includes the required information.
    (f) After making a decision to grant or refuse to grant an approval, the committee shall advise the research applicant in writing of its decision.
    (g) The committee shall provide the minister with an annual report of its activities.

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For more information about the Committee:

To send a submission, or for further information about the Committee, please contact:

Health Information Privacy Committee
Manitoba Health and Seniors Care
4037 - 300 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB  R3B 3M9