Introduction:

All patients are entitled to receive information from the medical records.
There may be fees for receiving copies of medical records. The fees vary based on the type of record and the identity of the person requesting it

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.

  • The request can be submitted by the patient, his family member or an external party that has power of attorney to make the request (such as a lawyer).
  • There may be fees for receiving copies of medical records. The fees vary based on the type of record and the identity of the person requesting it.
Attention
This page is about receiving information from the medical records for a person that is living. For information about receiving medical records for a person who has passed away see the Reviewing Medical Records of Someone who is Deceased page.

Target Audience and Prerequisites

To Whom and How to Apply

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 from a Patient (directly or by his power of attorney or legal guardian:
    • Patients wishing to obtain information independently, and not through an attending physician, must contact the relevant medical records department on their own.

Fees

  • There is no cost for information requested by an attending physician.
  • In all other cases the fees are based on the identity of the person making the request, the type of record request (computerized or not) and the period for which the request is made.

Costs of receiving records requested by the patient, his relative with power of attorney or his guardian

Costs of receiving computerized medical records:

  • Computerized medical records (ie, a medical record stored in a computer file, including any type of magnetic media) with information from the past 5 years is 10 NIS.
  • Fees for computerized medical records that with information that is older than 5 years ago but not before 2011 are in accordance with the medical services price list on the Ministry of Health website. (There is a price listing in an English Excel file.)
  • Fees for computerized medical records with information from before 2011:
  1. If the medical records are requested from a public hospital than the fees are based on the medical services price list.
  2. If the medical records are requested from the Kupat Cholim, the fees are according to the internal guidelines of that Kupat Cholim.

Costs of receiving records requested by external parties (the patients lawyer, insurance companies etc.)

  • If the medical record is requested from a public hospital the fees are based on the medical services price list regardless of the reason for the request or the identity of the person making the request.
  • If the medical records are requested from the Kupot Cholim the fees are determined by the Kupat Cholim and are not bound to the Ministry of Health price list when requested by external parties.


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

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.
  • X-rays:
    • 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.

Please Note

  • 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

Credits