Dutch medical dossier plan hits problems

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The government has been told by senators in the Upper House to look again at its plan to introduce electronic medical dossiers EPD nationwide. The senators want the system tested on a small scale regionally and not nationally.

The scheme to have people’s medical histories stored in a national database was launched by a previous government 14 years ago. It was hoped the EPD system would reduce the number of medical errors, including people being given the wrong medicine.

It would allow doctors to call up all current information about patients. In emergencies, a patient’s medical history could be accessed far quicker than is now the case. Patients would also be saved the bother of having to explain their histories to various doctors involved in treating them.

However, a majority of senators have doubts that the system being put forward will actually reduce the number of medical errors. They also see serious privacy issues in having the information available to a large number of people nationwide. They have given Health Minister Edith Schippers until 29 March to come up with an alternative to her present proposal.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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