18. Understanding Regulations Governing Research: Legislation

18.1 Personal Health Information (PHI) and the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA)

The Personal Health Information Act was proclaimed into law in Manitoba in 1997. The law grants rights to individuals in accessing their personal health information while protecting the privacy of the individuals.

According to the Act, Personal Health Information is recorded information that can be linked to a specific person that relates to that person's health or health care history, including genetic information; the provision of health care to that person; and payment for the health care provided to that person. The law provides a mechanism to allow individuals to examine or receive information about themselves from their medical records held by a trustee (such as WRHA or Manitoba Health).

A Trustee is any person (such as a health care professional) or organization (such as a health care facility) that collects and/or holds personal health information. PHIA outlines the obligations of trustees as it pertains to the collection, use, disclosure, retention and destruction of personal health information.

Section 24 of the Act provides the obligations to trustees and researchers as it applies to health research.

Further information about PHIA can be found at:

For more information/consultation on PHIA, contact

  • Provincial Government Legislative Unit, Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living 300 Carlton Street Winnipeg MB R3B 3M9 Phone: 204-788-6612 Email: PHIAinfo@gov.mb.ca

  • Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) WRHA Chief Privacy Officer 4th Floor, 650 Main Street Winnipeg MB R3B 1E2 Phone: 204-926-7049 WRHA Affiliated Institutional Privacy Officers

  • University of Manitoba 233 Elizabeth Dafoe Library Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 2N2 Phone: 204-474-9462

  • Brandon University FIPPA Access and Privacy Coordinator Brandon University Brandon, MB R7A 6A9 Phone: (204) 727-9707

18.2 Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act provides Manitobans with the right of access to records held by public bodies. To learn more about FIPPA visit