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Ontario – Using Faxes in Health Care

February 14, 2023 - Ron Kruzeniski, Information and Privacy Commissioner

In Saskatchewan, my office has done numerous reports on misdirected faxes. See our blog Raising Awareness of the Facts about Fax.

The access and privacy commissioners across Canada have, at the last federal-provincial meeting, passed a resolution encouraging the discontinuance of fax machines in the health care sector. See the resolution. Recently the Federal Privacy Commissioner has issued an updated guidance on faxing personal information

The Ontario government has taken a step toward eliminating the fax machine in the health care sector. The Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner issued its review of the high number of privacy breaches at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton due to misdirected faxes. In a blog for Privacy Day, the Ontario Commissioner Patricia Kosseim commented further regarding misdirected faxes in Ontario.

The Ontario government has announced that it would put in place a plan to support phasing out fax machines and that fax machines will be phased out over the next five years. For details see this CBC article.

I am hopeful that the progress in Ontario will help cause the heath sector across Canada, and particularly in Saskatchewan, to accelerate plans to phase out faxes.

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