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Ministry of Health

Requests to Contact

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act enables academic researchers to request and obtain information necessary to contact individuals for the purpose of recruiting for a research study. The researcher must demonstrate that the research purpose cannot reasonably be accomplished unless that information is provided in individually identifiable form, and that any record linkage is not harmful to the individuals named. The benefits to be derived from the record linkage must show they are clearly in the public interest.

The Data Stewardship Committee provides oversight on behalf of the Ministry of Health by endorsing requests to contact, before submission to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia.

Questions about the application process can be directed to the Data Stewardship Secretariat.

The Process

Completing the Data Access Request and Request to Contact form

The Data Stewardship Secretariat staff will assist the researcher in completing the following two forms:

Submission to the Ministry

Researcher submits the application package to the secretariat directly. For details regarding supporting documents please contact the Data Stewardship Secretariat.

In-depth Review

The Data Stewardship Secretariat staff reviews for appropriate use of the data according to legislation and policy. Part of the review process may include follow-up clarification questions to the researcher.

When the in-depth review is complete, the application package is submitted to the Data Stewardship Committee for decision on the next available meeting agenda.

Data Stewardship Committee Decision

The Data Stewardship Committee will recommend either:

  • Endorsement of the request, resulting in the Privacy Commissioner and the Ministry of Health to review and make a decision; or
  • Revisions to the application.

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner Review

The Privacy Commissioner adjudicates the application pursuant to the relevant section of Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Decision and Notification

The Ministry of Health will inform the researcher of the decision.

Data Preparation and Delivery

The Data Stewardship Secretariat will coordinate the data extraction internally.

The Data Stewardship Secretariat staff will contact the researcher to establish the connectivity for the secure file transfer protocol used to transfer the data.