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Accessing Medical Records for Continuing Care

For patients requiring a copy of your most recent WH discharge summary, please check if it is available in My Health Record as Western Health uploads all Hospital Discharge Summaries onto My Health Record for patients who have given consent. If not, please contact Western Health Medical Record Services Department via email ( 

Also, your doctor or specialist can request health information directly via email ( from the Medical Record Services Department if it is required for ongoing care. 

Freedom of Information (FOI) 

You have the right to access your medical records held by the western health Under the FOI Act.


What is Freedom of Information? 

The Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Vic) (FOI Act) provides a statutory right to the public to access documents held by Western Health, unless an exception or exemption applies. This includes access to medical records by or on behalf of patients. It also allows you to request for your records to be amended. The WH holds records for all Western Health Sites listed below: 

The WH holds records for all Western Health Sites listed below:

Footscray Hospital Hazelden Transition Care in Williamstown
Bacchus Marsh Hospital Grant Lodge Residential Aged Care
Williamstown Hospital Bacchus Marsh Community Health Centre
Sunshine Hospital (including Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s) Sunbury Day Hospital
Melton Health & Community Services Caroline Spring Community Health Centre
Mental Health and Wellbeing Services- Adult (includes services operated as Mid-West Area Mental Health Services prior to 1 July 2023) Melton Health
Mental Health and Wellbeing Services Aged/Older Adults (includes the aged persons Mental health and the special dementia care unit)

Western Health also works in partnership with a number of organisations to provide mental health services onsite at Footscray Hospital and Sunshine Hospital. If an FOI request solely relates to a service provided by one of the mental health services listed, please contact the relevant service directly.

Service Email address
Mercy Mental Health Program
Orygen Specialist Program (Previously named Orygen Youth Health)

Request an amendment to your medical record section (39 of FOI Act) 

Under section 39 of FOI Act 1982 (Vic), you may submit a request to have your record amended, where you consider the health or personal health information contained in your WH medical record is incorrect/inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or it would give misleading impression. 

Your amendment request must: 

  • Be made in writing
  • Explain how the information is incorrect/inaccurate, incomplete, out of date or would give a misleading impression, and provide evidence or information to support this.
  • Be clear and specific about what kind of amendments or corrections you are seeking 

Download the Section 39 FOI Amendment Request form or visit the office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) website for more information: 

Request an amendment - Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner ( 

An amendment to your medical record may take the form of an alteration or a notation but will not include deleting or expunging the original information. 

Note: No fees will be applied to medical record amendment request, unless you are also seeking for a copy of the medical records. 

How to make an FOI application to Western Health? 

A valid request under the FOI Act must include the following: 

  • an application in writing to WH FOI Department
  • payment of the application fee of $31.80 (GST exempt); and
  • be sufficiently clear to identify the documents sought. 

You can download a copy of FOI Application Form 2023 

If you are currently under the Statutory Duty of Candour process, please contact your dedicated family contact prior to completing this form. 

Western Health has a duty to assist applicants to make a compliant request and will consult with an applicant before refusing a non-compliant request. 

You may only obtain another person’s health information if you have their written authority to do so. This may be written consent from the individual or the legal documents that support your request. 

You can download a copy of Authority to Release Health Information Form or you may use your own template. 

If you are requesting the deceased persons medical records you must provide the identification which clearly shows you are the senior next of kin (e.g., Death Certificate and birth certificate) or a copy of the will if you are the executor of the estate. 

Time of Birth 

If your FOI request is solely for Time of Birth request, please kindly complete the Time of Birth request Form 

How much does it cost? 

The cost involved will vary according to each request. In some instances, the application fee may be waived if evidence of financial hardship, Health Care card or Pension Card can be provided. 

These fees are effective from 1July 2023. (Subject to change every financial year)

Fee Type Amount
Application Fee $31.80 (Non-Refundable)
Search Fee $23.85 per hour or part thereof
Electronic Record & Radiology Images on USB $30.00 per USB
Retrieval Fee (Applicable for hard copy records only) $18.40
Black and White A4 Copying $.20 per page
Registered Mail/ Courier Fees $11.00
Concession If you are the holder of a current Health Care/pension card the application fee can be waived. In this circumstance, please send a copy of the entitlement card.

How long does it take? 

A decision regarding access to documents held by Western Health under the FOI Act made no later than 30 days following receipt of a valid request. There may be circumstances where we need to consult with you to extend the 30-day period.

Before we can provide access to the documents, you must pay all outstanding charges relating to your request. 


Please contact the FOI Team with your FOI queries on email or mail to Freedom of Information (FOI), Western Health, Locked Bag 2, Footscray, VIC 3012

Alternatively, you may call the team on 03 8345 6352 between 11am and 12pm, Tuesdays to Thursdays. To prioritise request processing, we are not able to answer phone calls outside these limited times. 

Decision review rights 

Applicants have a right to challenge a Decision of an FOI Officer and a right of complaint to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (OVIC) within 28 days of the day an applicant receives notification of the decision. 

Applicants also have a right to apply to the Health Services Commissioner for conciliation where the documents requested contain health information relating to the applicant.  

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