Privacy Impact Assessment Summary: eMedical

This Report is a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for eMedical for the Health Branch (HB), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The objectives of this PIA Report are to determine if there are privacy risks associated with the project, and if so, to provide recommendations on the mitigation or elimination of the risks.

The scope of this PIA Report covers the development of eMedical as described in the Business Specifications (August 25, 2011).

Canada’s immigration law, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), is designed to ensure that the movement of people into Canada contributes to the country’s social and economic interests, and meets its humanitarian commitments while protecting the health, safety and security of Canadians. IRPA and the accompanying regulations define the medical requirements that applicants for residence in Canada must meet.

The Canadian immigration medical process consists of two components: the immigration medical examination (IME) and the determination, based on that examination, of the applicant’s admissibility to Canada on medical grounds. The latter process is called the immigration medical assessment (IMA).

Panel physicians/radiologists are authorized to perform immigration medical examinations, arrange for diagnostic tests and investigations, and complete Canadian immigration medical forms. They do not have the authority to assess or determine whether the medical conditions of applicants are grounds for inadmissibility.

HB, CIC, administers the IME Program and is responsible for selecting, appointing, monitoring, evaluating and, when required, suspending or terminating panel physicians/ radiologists.

CIC has identified client service modernization as one of its strategic business priorities. In support of this priority, HB has been investigating methods by which it could use technology to replace the current manual paper processing system for IMEs.  Following discussions with Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and within CIC, a decision has been made to work with Australia to modify its eHealth system to enable use by Canada. eHealth is DIACs online system for recording, processing and storing health examination results for Australian visa applicants. It removes the need for processing paper-based health reports, as panel clinics / panel physicians/ radiologists are able to record all health information for visa applicants online including examination results, digital chest x-rays, specialist reports, and biometric photographs.

DIAC is planning to redevelop its eHealth system for 2012 on an updated code base and in a structure that will enable it to be utilized by CIC as well as DIAC. It is intended that the initial focus of redeveloping eHealth will be on clinic management and recording of health examination data and will be hosted by DIAC. This application will be known as eMedical for Canada’s purposes.

CIC has entered into an Umbrella Memorandum of Understanding between Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of the Commonwealth of Australia for the development and establishment of a modified version of Australia’s eHealth system to be used by Australia and Canada to process Immigration Medical Examinations. Further details on the implementation of eMedical are contained in the Implementation Memorandum of Understanding between Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship of the Commonwealth of Australia regarding the “eMedical system” to be used by Australia and Canada to process Immigration Medical Examinations.

This report identified privacy risks, and measures were implemented to mitigate or eliminate the issues.

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