Obtaining your medical record/chart/file - Canada
Further to the discussion on another thread,
I'm not sure if all provinces in Canada are the same, but you have the right to visually inspect your record at least. Doctors have to abide by "privacy of information" Acts (keeping your information away from people who have no business to see it), but they also have to abide by various "access to information" Acts (allowing you to have access).
You also have a right to a copy, but some doctors will give you the run-around. I think they are embarassed by some of the unprofessional things they write in your chart, or because they haven't taken complete and good notes like they are supposed to. Another reason is that doctors are trained to think about protecting themselves legally, so they are protective of these records. In case of legal action, they need the records to defend themselves.
If a doctor is giving you the run-around, try going through a lawyer. The lawyer writes up a letter for you to sign, this is sent to the doctor, and your health record is sent to the lawyer who gives it to you. You will have to pay a small amount to the lawyer, and probably a larger amount (if you are in Ontario it seems) to the doctor's office for the trouble of photocopying the records. The benefits are that you don't have to talk to a snooty receptionist or paranoid doctor, beg or plead, justify and explain why you want copies, spend time doing all that, and get more stressed out. The lawyer handles it all. That's what I will be doing the next time I think I'm starting to get the run-around.