New life breathed into digital patient record exchange plan

A major campaign will begin on November 5 urging people to give permission for the their health records to be held in a new system, accessible to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.

The voluntary system replaces the controversial centralized digital records system which the upper house of parliament rejected last year over privacy concerns.
The lack of legislation means the new set-up, developed by doctors, hospitals, health insurers and partly funded by the government, must be voluntary.
Reduce deaths
Nevertheless, the government hopes everyone will agree to be part of it, the paper says. By allowing access to patient files, there will be 1,900 fewer unnecessary deaths a year, statisticians say.
Some nine million people’s health records are already held in systems allowing them to be accessed by people other than their doctor.
Health minister Edith Schippers gave assurances last year that health insurance companies will not have access to the new system.
‘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 at the time.

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