New bill to strengthen rights around health information

New bill to strengthen rights around health information

Stephen Donnelly

Legislation is set to be drawn up by government to strengthen the rights of individuals in relation to their health information.

The Health Information Bill will provide for the appointment of a “national health information guardian”, who will be an independent champion for individuals and the public in how the health service intends to use their health information.

It will also support the introduction of a “national health information centre” with clearly specified functions and governance rules in relation to the collection and processing of health information for population health purposes and research and innovation that leads to better outcomes for patients.

Health minister Stephen Donnelly said: “This is a necessary piece of legislation that demonstrates the government’s commitment to building patient-centred, integrated health services. All those who use our health services and those who work in them already know that information must follow the patient.

“This bill will provide the required legislation to ensure that happens in a way that builds public confidence in how health service providers handle health information, not only for care and treatment, but for the achievement of other health service goals – ultimately delivering a better health service for those who need it.”

He added: “My department will soon embark on a consultation process with stakeholders to inform the development of the general scheme.”

Share icon
Share this article: