No health record access for insurance companies, says minister

Health insurers will not be able to access patients’ records even though they are funding a new digital health record system, health minister Edith Schippers has told MPs, news agency ANP reports.

The minister has brokered an agreement between insurers, patients organisations and healthcare providers to develop a digital system so that records can be exchanged between family doctors, hospitals and pharmacies.
‘We have agreed the role of health insurers,’ Schippers said. ‘They will remain far away from the storage of details.’ Those which do attempt to access health records face a jail term of up to four years and a fine of €18,500, ANP reported.
Previous attempts to introduce digital patient records were voted down by the upper house of parliament earlier this year because of privacy concerns.
Because the new initiative is funded by the private sector, no parliamentary vote is technically necessary. However, Socialist MPs have already said parliament should have its say on the new system.
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