New privacy requirements for Saskatchewan health system

Updated as of March 8, 2024

Changes to The Health Information Protection Act (Saskatchewan) (HIPA) and Regulations came into effect on August 1, 2023, and will have a major impact on organizations that provide health services in Saskatchewan – including some that are not currently subject to HIPA.

This post outlines some of the key changes to HIPA and The Health Information Protection Regulations, 2023 (the “New Regulations”).

Key changes

The following are some of the key changes:

  • Owners and operators of privately owned facilities in which health professionals provide health services will now be considered “trustees” and may be directly subject to HIPA (section 4(b))
  • All trustees that have custody or control of personal health information are now required to have a privacy compliance program which includes the items outlined in the New Regulations including, for example, specific training and acknowledgements for employees (section 5)
  • All trustees that have custody or control of personal health information are now required to meet new record retention and destruction requirements outlined in the New Regulations with respect to that personal health information (section 6)
  • All agreements with information management service providers are now required to address the terms outlined in the New Regulations (section 7)
  • Trustees may now be able to use personal health information for employee education or internal management purposes to improve quality of care (sections 9 and 13 (e) and (f))

View the Q&A document about these changes available from the Ministry of Health.

What organizations can do to get ready

All organizations in Saskatchewan that may be impacted by these changes would be well advised to review these changes and update their current policies and practices to comply with the changes.

The lawyers in the MLT Aikins Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity group have extensive experience advising organizations on privacy compliance issues and have developed resources to help organizations review and update their current policies and practices. Our most recent HIPA training and tools are now available for purchase.

You can also watch this complimentary webinar that provides an overview of the changes as well as compliance strategies and best practices.

Note: This article is of a general nature only and is not exhaustive of all possible legal rights or remedies. In addition, laws may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.