According to section 18 of the Patients' Rights Law, a patient is entitled to get medical information from the medical records of the doctor or institution.
- There is a fee for receiving copies of the medical records.
Target Audience and Prerequisites
- All patients.
To Whom and How to Apply
- Those wanting to obtain information from the medical record must contact the department responsible for medical records in the relevant medical facility.
- Health plans
- Clalit - The department responsible for medical records according to the district in which the policyholder lives must be contacted. Click here for a list with contact information by district.
- Maccabi - A medical records request form must be submitted to the branch to which the policyholder belongs.
- Leumit - A medical records request form and waiver of medical confidentiality must be submitted to the branch to which the policyholder belongs.
- Meuhedet - Policyholders must arrive at the branch to which they belong with their magnetic membership card and photo ID.
- Hospitals - Every hospital has a medical records department (in Hebrew: מחלקת רשומות רפואיות - makhleket reshumot refuiyot).
- Rabin Medical Center (Beilinson - Sharon)
- Hadassah Hospitals
- Sharee Tzedek Medical Center
- Tel Aviv Medical Center (Ichalov)
- Sheba Medical Center
- Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center
- Kaplan Medical Center
- Barzilai Medical Center
- Soroka Medical Center
- Meir Medical Center
- Laniado Hospital
- Hillel Yafeh Medical Center
- Bnei Zion Medical Ccenter
- Carmel Medical Center
- Poria Medical Center
- Ziv Medical Center
- Health plans
Stages of the Process
- Request from an Attending Physician:
- If a request to take information from the medical record is for purposes of continuing medical treatment (i.e. an illness summary or results from tests that were performed during hospitalization), patients should contact their attending physician at their primary care clinic.
- There is no cost for receiving information ordered by an attending physician.
- Request Directly from a Patient:
- Patients wishing to obtain information independently, and not through an attending physician, must contact the relevant medical records department. In such cases, there is a fee for receiving the information.
- All hospital medical records departments have details regarding fees for obtaining medical records.
- The maximum cost for obtaining a copy of medical records is in accordance with the medical services price listing posted on the Ministry of Health website (the price listing is available in an English Excel file).
When Must a Patient Sign a Waiver of Medical Confidentiality?
- The patient must sign a waiver of medical confidentiality in the following cases:
- When someone besides the patient requests medical information, and the patient does not come in person to the medical records department, the patient must sign a waiver of medical confidentiality.
- A representative of the patient must bring the signed form to the relevant medical facility medical records department. For more information, see: Waiving Medical Confidentiality.
- When a patient requests information in a manner in which his/her identity cannot be verified face to face (i.e. by telephone).
- In cases involving wards or the legally incompetent, a legal guardian must sign on the patient's behalf.
- If a patient is in a medical facility and cannot provide a written waiver of medical confidentiality, the waiver may be given verbally before 2 witnesses, as long as it is documented in written form in the medical record as soon as possible thereafter.
- There are certain administrative bodies and individuals who by law have the authority to obtain medical information even without a waiver of medical confidentiality, in order to fulfill their professional duties. Some examples include IDF recruitment offices, the Medical Institute for Road Safety, welfare officers, etc.
Obtaining Medical Information for Minors
- For more information, see: Obtaining Medical Information for Minors.
Obtaining Medical Information for an Unconscious Patient
- In the case of an unconscious patient who signed a waiver of medical confidentiality in advance, or for whom a guardian has been appointed, there are no obstacles to obtaining information from the medical record.
- In the case of an unconscious patient who is hospitalized and did not sign a waiver of medical confidentiality in advance and for whom a guardian has not been appointed:
- The hospital's legal adviser must be contacted in order to determine whether the medical file may be reviewed or whether some information from it may be disclosed.
- If the hospital's legal adviser refuses the request, it may be brought before a court of law.
Obtaining X-Rays from a Dentist
- Patients are entitled to receive information from the medical records held by their dentist, including copies.
- Dentists must provide copies of medical imaging to another physician who is treating the patient and who has requested them in the proper manner (an example of directions for a proper request can be found on the Ministry of Health website).
- The images, or any other documentation, must to the greatest extent possible, be delivered in person or sent by registered mail with proof of delivery. In such a case, the proof of delivery must be placed in the medical file.
- Doctors are permitted to require a fee for copies made to be sent to the patient or someone on the patient's behalf. According to Ministry of Health regulations, any fee which is more than 50% of the cost of duplication is considered to be unreasonable.
- Dentists are obligated to keep x-rays for the period required by law. The period begins with the completion of treatment or when some medical malpractice has been detected, the latter of the two. For adults, the period lasts for 10 years from this date; for minors, at least until age 25.
Obtaining Medical Information when Switching Health Plans
- When someone changes health plans, the health plan is required to transfer full information from the medical record in accordance with a policyholder request, including copies and duplicates in whole or in part.
- Information will be sent to the policyholder upon submitting a written request.
- Transfer of information from one health plan to another for purposes of medical treatment is performed free of charge.
- Health plans are required to transfer requested medical information within 30 days of receiving the request.
- Besides the policyholder, doctors or others authorized by the requesting health plan to do so may request information directly or through the policyholder.
- Requests may be made directly (in person with a request form), or with a registered written request sent by mail or fax and accompanied by the required documentation.
- All hospitals have medical records departments that are to be contacted with requests, and which have detailed information regarding fees for obtaining medical records.
- Patients requesting their own medical information do not have to sign a waiver of medical confidentiality.
Laws & Regulations
- The Patients' Rights Law - Section 18
- Medical Administration Circular 15/2003 from 09.03.2003 regarding waiving medical confidentiality - disclosing patients' medical information.
- Dental Health Procedure 2.2 from 01.02.2002 - Instructions regarding x-rays.
- Medical Administration Circular 85/96 from 31.12.96 regarding procedures for transferring medical information between health plans.
- Original information written by the IMA.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.