Transfer of medical records - a guide
- To ensure appropriate on going care, when a patient transfers to other medical practitioners, medical practitioners should, when asked by a patient, make available either a copy of the original record or a summary. The reasonable cost for this service should be borne by the patient.
- While records containing patient medical information do not belong to the patient, the patient has a legal right to access those records.
- When a patient requests that his/her records be made available to another medical practitioner, a medical practitioner should act on that request.
- Medical practitioners are under no obligation to provide their original records. These should be retained by the practitioner who created them.
- A copy of a patient's record may be sent to the patient's new practitioner. Depending on the size and/or complexity of the record, medical practitioners may wish to provide a health summary instead, if the patient agrees.
- Copies of test results and other investigations, including plans of management should be made available. Copies of clinical reports from other medical practitioners about the patient may be included.
- Doctors should be entitled to recover from the patient or from any other legally authorised person or authority requesting the information, the reasonable cost of providing access to the information contained in a medical record.