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Patients to get ‘more control’ over health records and who sees what

THE NETHERLANDS. From next year, people will be able to ‘manage’ their own medical records on their computer or mobile phone and decide who should have access to what information, health minister Bruno Bruins has told the Volkskrant.

The minister told the paper in an interview he has allocated €3m to develop what he calls a ‘personal healthcare environment’ by an alliance of patients, health insurers, healthcare providers and the national healthcare IT institute.

The development of digital medical records has been a controversial issue in the Netherlands and in 2011 the upper house of parliament pulled the plug on a €300m project to introduce them due to privacy concerns. In the new system, patients will decide what parts of their health records should be included and who should be able to see what information, Bruins told the Volkskrant. ‘There are already apps allowing you to gather your information in one place. Now the rules will be established,’ the minister said.

Trials are already underway and will be rounded off in the summer. The new system should be ready for roll-out next year, he said. Privacy, he said, is paramount and the system will have the highest possible standards. ‘But it also has to ensure that everyone can use it, including people who can’t read well,’ he said.
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