Hong Kong launches health record consultation

Updated: 2011-12-12 20:18


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HONG KONG - The Food & Health Bureau of Hong Kong Monday launched a two-month public consultation on the Legal, Privacy & Security Framework for Electronic Health Record Sharing.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Secretary for Food & Health York Chow said, "the sharing system will be an essential infrastructure for our healthcare system, with an aim to enhance the quality and efficiency of healthcare."

A platform will be formed by 2013-14 to connect all public and private hospitals, and private clinics, allowing integration among healthcare providers to enable more timely treatment and diagnosis.

Chow said that the city government understands data privacy and system security are of paramount importance to the development of the sharing system.

"The government endeavors not only to deploy the appropriate technologies to safeguard system security, but also to formulate a legal, privacy and security framework for sharing with reference to views of various stakeholders as well as local and overseas experiences, to provide legal protection for the privacy of patients' health data and system security," he said.

The document proposes to introduce a new criminal sanction specifically against unauthorized access to the system with malicious intent.

Chow said that patient participation is voluntary and consent must be given to the system operating body and healthcare providers.

Healthcare providers can only access and upload patient data with patient authorization and based on the "patient-under-care" and "need-to-know" principles.