Case Note 209438 [2009] NZPrivCmr 20: Estate for deceased doctor fails to transfer files

Following the death of a general practitioner, the medical files of his patients went into storage along with the rest of his professional and personal belongings.A number of the deceased doctor’s patients went to a new practice nearby. The new practice contacted the spokesperson for the deceased doctor’s estate and requested that he send through the files of these patients under section 22F of the Health Act. The spokesperson for the estate advised that, as no executor had been appointed to the estate, he was not in a position to transfer any of the deceased doctor’s files. The spokesperson for the estate was concerned that he would face liability for making a decision about the deceased doctor’s estate without the legal authority to do so. Section 22F of the Health ActSection 22F of the Health Act places strict legal obligations on health agencies to transfer health information when requested by…

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