The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed its intention to table a new Health Information Bill in the second half of 2023. Through the bill, the MOH seeks to enable the collection of patients’ selected health data from healthcare providers and to allow healthcare providers to share patient information with one another safely and securely.
Key features of Healthier SG — which is the name given to the major reform of the healthcare system — include the mobilization of the network of family doctors to deliver preventive care for residents and the setting up of necessary enablers such as IT.
One of the key tools for successfully implementing Healthier SG is the National Electronic Health Record (NEHR), a central repository of patient summary health records. This would allow healthcare workers, including family doctors, to draw from and contribute to this common platform. To facilitate the proper collection, use and sharing of health data among healthcare providers in a safe and secure manner, the MOH announced its intention to introduce the Bill.
The legal framework is also being strengthened to facilitate proactive data sharing among different entities and partners to enhance monitoring and follow-up. Safeguards are being implemented to protect patient confidentiality and autonomy during data sharing, and cybersecurity measures are being put in place to ensure the security and protection of health information.
As of December 2022, all public healthcare institutions and over 30% of private MOH-licensed healthcare institutions have access to NEHR.
(Source: Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow)