Friday, October 21, 2016
It Seems Politicians Are In Trouble All Over For Privatising Health Information Management.
I spotted these articles just as the discussions over Telstra Health were coming to an end. It seems the Government of Ontario in Canada is having a look at maybe outsourcing e-Health.
First we have this:
TORONTO - Ontario’s doctors say they have “grave concerns” about a key review of eHealth by a government privatization guru.
Ontario Medical Association president Dr. Virginia Walley wrote to Ed Clark on Thursday to express the group’s concern about his review of the health records bureaucracy. Clark, the former TD Bank CEO who recommended the partial sale of Hydro One, was appointed Friday by Health Minister Eric Hoskins to look at the agency.
Clark’s been asked to find ways to appraise its potential to raise cash for the government as it tries to fund billions in infrastructure projects.
But Walley said patient privacy has to put before profit.
“To be absolutely clear, we are very concerned about any privatization that might occur without appropriate safeguards on patient data,” she said. “We hope that you will see our legitimate concerns on this very sensitive issue of patient privacy, particularly as government has given little attention to these matters over the last year.”
Walley says the government has gathered “massive” amounts of private patient data in recent years with no consent from people themselves. In the letter, she also asks to meet with Clark to discuss his review.
“The blunt reality is that we do not currently have a functional eHealth system that benefits patient care,” she said. “And it is unclear to us currently how your mandate from Minister Hoskins will help encourage or support this.”
Hoskins ruled out the sale of personal health information in a statement to the Toronto Sun.
Coverage is also found here:
The province’s doctors are expressing ‘grave concerns’ about the government’s plans for the electronic health records agency.
Thu., Oct. 13, 2016
The province’s doctors are expressing “grave concerns” about the Liberal government’s plans for eHealth Ontario.
In the wake of Health Minister Eric Hoskins’ decision to ask Premier Kathleen Wynne’s privatization guru, Ed Clark, to appraise the monetary value of the electronic health records agency, the Ontario Medical Association is sounding the alarm over patient privacy.
“To be clear, Ontario’s physicians are very concerned about the sanctity of the information shared by their patients in the context of the physician-patient relationship,” wrote OMA president Dr. Virginia Walley in an open letter to Clark on Thursday.
“We have grave concerns about how your mandate from Minister Hoskins is being interpreted,” Walley wrote to the former TD Bank CEO, who now serves as an unpaid advisor to the premier.
“We are particularly concerned to read in media reports that the government may be seeking to monetize this data-gathering ability for profit,” she continued, as she urged “safeguards” to protect patients.
Walley, whose organization represents the province’s 42,000 doctors, also took issue with the government’s assertion that its digital health strategy is paying off dividends.
“The blunt reality is that we do not currently have a functional eHealth system that benefits patient care and it is unclear to us currently how your mandate from Minister Hoskins will help encourage or support this,” she wrote.
Her letter comes two months after doctors rejected a four-year contract negotiated by the OMA and the provincial government.
Interestingly the Minister involved here is from a centre left party – despite being called a Liberal.
From these articles it seems pretty clear that Ontario – which has a population close to 14 million – seems to also be struggling with e-Health if the doctors who work there are to be believed!
Things seem to be the same all over!
Posted by Dr David G More MB PhD at Friday, October 21, 2016