Government to toughen patient data protection

16th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

The government has announced plans to introduce stricter penalties for the misuse of Electronic Patient Records.

AMSTERDAM -- The move is aimed at reducing public mistrust of the new system.

Launched in November last year, the electronic records system enables medical practitioners to access a digital database of patient records. It is aimed at ensuring continuity of care. However, there have been widespread concerns about the risks for patients' privacy, either because of unscrupulous practitioners leaking information or through hackers breaking into the system.

Doctors, pharmacists and hospitals all have access to the records, but not insurance companies. They could potentially use the information to refuse health insurance to patients with medical conditions.

The coalition parties now want doctors who pass on medical records to insurance companies to be banned from practicing. They also propose stringent penalties for insurers who break into the database.

Radio Netherlands/ Expatica

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