National SPD definitely off the table?
Great news today: the private relaunch of the national Electronic Patient Record (EHR) seems to be off the table for good. Due to privacy concerns, the Senate rightly rejected the SPD earlier this year to the bin. Attempts by a number of stakeholders (including Nictiz) to make this same SPD as yet by private, extra-parliamentary means by starting have now foundered on its financial unfeasibility, so reported the Volkskrant this afternoon. Too few GPs and pharmacists turned out to be in favour of connecting to this EHR. As a result, the whole project became a "ship dead in the water". A sinking wreck. A Titanic which, amid icebergs of privacy and security concerns, was helplessly lost.
The shipwreck of the national SPD is not an isolated case: this is the second megalomaniac anti-privacy project to succumb to intense public pressure this year. (The first was the central database of fingerprints.) Our proof that national resistance to a looming collective privacy violation pays off is thus once again provided.
The step from national to international opposition (via the United Nations) to this Dutch SPD need not be taken now. Privacy First Foundation was already planning to put the SPD firmly on the agenda during the upcoming Universal Periodic Review of the Netherlands at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva (May 2012). That agenda item can now be dropped in time. Instead, Privacy First will hopefully be able to start reporting to the UN that the Netherlands has made a positive turnaround: from a privacy-violating national SPD to privacy-friendly SPDs at regional level. This will enable the best interests of both patients and healthcare providers to be served.
Update 11 Nov 2011: Unfortunately, a majority in the Lower House (VVD, CDA & PvdA) seems to want to keep the national SPD after all; see draft Chamber motion at https://zoek.officielebekendmakingen.nl/kst-138211.html. A vote on this motion is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday 15 November next.