Senate puts paid to electronic patient record system

The upper house of parliament appears to have put an end to plans to introduce a nationwide data base of patient records (EPD), according to media reports on Tuesday afternoon.

Senators say there are too many risks associated with the system as it now stands. But a majority does support regional initiatives as long as there are sufficient guarantees for patient privacy.
Health minister Edith Schippers was in the senate on Tuesday to defend the legislation but asked for a two-week delay to make her reply. According to the Financieele Dagblad, it is not clear if the minister plans to rewrite the legislation or withdraw it completely.
Criticism of the scheme, which aimed to allow healthcare professionals to access patient files more easily and reduce medical mistakes, focused on the point of the legislation, privacy and practical matters.
VVD senator Heleen Dupuis said during the debate it is very unclear if the system will lead to an improvement in the quality of care.
The government began developing the digital patient record system 14 years ago.

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