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Webwereld, 13 Dec 2011: 'Private EPD is opportunistic sham solution'

In an open letter to the Lower House, Privacy First calls the private Electronic Patient Record an "opportunistic false solution". Today, the Lower House is discussing the private EHR.

Privacy First, a citizens' organisation fighting for privacy rights, has sent a letter to members of parliament. This critical letter is in response to the almost certain relaunch of the private EHR, now that health minister Schippers is making €2 million available and health insurers are guaranteeing the remaining €7.2 million. Privacy First gives the Lower House seven points of interest before the debate begins.

Nationwide SPD threatens

In doing so, the organisation points out that although there is talk of regional exchange of medical personal data, the digital 'regional partitions' can easily be bypassed or removed. This still creates a nationwide EHR, something that at least the Senate is vehemently opposed to. "An opportunistic sham solution," writes mr Vincent Böhre on behalf of Privacy First.

The organisation calls for an "independent Privacy Impact Assessment" to move towards a privacy-friendly EHR. This should then be monitored by independent privacy and security experts. There should also be "privacy-friendly transparency" for patients, with individual freedom of choice.

"For example, patient access to their own records should not be made conditional on connection to the LSP. Such access via the internet also creates new privacy risks," warns Privacy First. The LSP is the abbreviation for the national switching point, which allows access to information from the various regionally present medical databases.

'Government remains responsible'

"From a human rights perspective, the Dutch government remains fully responsible for protecting the medical privacy of its citizens, even with a privatised SPD," Böhre writes. Just this spring, Minister Schippers said she would pull her hands off the SPD after privatisation.

On the initiative of Privacy First, the Netherlands will have to answer to the UN Human Rights Council on this in June 2012, Böhre said.

Read HERE the article at Webwereld.