Access to Medical Reports Act 1988

This Act gives individuals a right of access to any medical report prepared for insurance or employment purposes by a doctor "who is or has been responsible for the patient's care" provided that allowing the individual to see the report will not endanger his or her health or disclose information about another person who is not a health professional. If access is denied on this ground the individual has a right of challenge in the county court (England and Wales) or Sheriff's court (Scotland).

Individuals who exercise their right of access but dispute the content of the report may request amendments. If these are not agreed to by the doctor, the individual may either refuse to allow the report to be dispatched or may request that it be accompanied by a statement prepared by the individual.

The statute applies only to reports prepared by a doctor who is or has been responsible for the care of the patient and not to an independent occupational physician who has not provided care. Where the doctor occupies a dual role (e.g., as both general practitioner and as part-time occupational physician or insurance medical examiner), the provisions of the Act do apply.

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