Wheatley Wants Electronic Records for Public Health System

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Opposition Spokesman on Science, ICT and Digital Society Development, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, is urging the government to protect the electronic records of persons who use the public health system.

Dr. Wheatley’s call follows this week’s announcement by Health Minister, Dr. Fenton Ferguson, of a proposed Electronic Patient Administration System, during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate.

The new system would see the digitization of patients’ records across the nation’s health facilities.
But, Dr. Wheatley says the government needs to accelerate legislation regarding Data Protection and Privacy.

Dr Wheatley says it’s extremely important that patients’ records in the digital domain are protected, especially in light of the fact that electronic records are more accessible, portable and are stored on systems that may be susceptible to cyber-attacks.

He says patients’ records are confidential and must be treated as such, irrespective of the format in which they are stored.

The Opposition Spokesman says currently, the country has no comprehensive Data Protection and Privacy Legislation that would foster an environment where the privacy of electronic patient records is better protected.

Dr. Wheatley says while the impending Electronic Patient Administration System is a step in the right direction, he’s concerned that an initiative may come on stream without the necessary laws and supporting structures being in place.