The following enquiry was made through our contact form on Jamaicans.com:
QUESTION: Dear Legal Wiz,
I am a born Jamaican citizen, who now resides in Canada. My father whom also was a Jamaican Citizen passed away many years ago due to cancer.
Due to many health concerns on my behalf, my doctors have requested I try to locate my fathers hospital files – as I am not even quite aware of all his problems before death.
How do I go about obtaining my Father’s medical records? Who do I contact?
What information will I need in order to get these released?
LEGALWIZ: Dear Sir Ernest Gregory,
Thank you for staying connected to Jamaicans.com, and further communicating with us.
The issue of a patient’s access to his or her medical records is governed by the common law, as there is no legislation in Jamaica regulating the same. It is usually the responsibility of the health care provider to provide such information. The health care provider, can refuse to permit access, once reasons are warranted and applicable such as where it can be shown that there is a real potential for harm to the patient or a third party. However, one has the option to challenge the refusal and seek order through the Courts.
YOUR BEST BET THEREFORE is
Your best bet is to acquire, or have someone acquire on your behalf, the Death Certificate from the Registrar General’s Department. The Registrar General Department which also operates online has relating forms for you to fill in.
NB: The Jamaican RGD also classifies diseases as indicated on the Medical Certificate of the cause of death (MCCD).
Please be mindful of a few points:
- it is generally the medical provider who holds medical records
- As such you need to provide more details such as name and location of hospital, or medical practitioner.
- You will also need proof of your relation
- You will need to or have someone contact that entity as to their policies and procedures for doing this. This person should be given a notarised power-of-attorney document to act on your behalf.
- Further having gained that information specific details such as about your father’s name, age will be needed
NOTE A member of our team can for a nominal fee acquire the specific information once you supply specifics such as name of your father etc.