Depression, infertility, cancer, addiction, abortion, erectile dysfunction, HIV/AIDS – whatever our health issues, Canadians value the right to choose who they share intimate health information with. This right is now under threat. E-Health will create a giant system of electronic health records that will eventually be accessible across the entire country.
These government repositories of citizens’ health information are promoted as likely to make health care safer, cheaper and more efficient. But there’s little evidence to support those claims, and much evidence to the contrary.
In a technological age, no one seriously argues that medical information should be recorded only on paper. Electronic health records can have benefits, including the ability to quickly send information to other health care providers who need it for your care. But e-Health isn’t a system of sending (pushing) electronic information from one health care provider to another. E-Health pulls information from every health care provider into a giant data distribution system available to tens of thousands of people.
Letters of Response: College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and David Chan, MD