MARUAH participated in the public consultation sessions on the draft Healthcare Services Act (HCSA) and submitted its feedback to the Ministry of Health (MOH). Among the provisions of the HCSA is a requirement that all medical service providers upload data on their patients into a national medical database without giving individuals the right to opt-out. Conversely, the draft bill does not give individuals the right to access all of the data being held on them in the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR) database. MOH has softened its stance on allowing individuals to opt-out and has indicated that it would voluntarily allow individuals to access some of their own data but there are still obvious privacy concerns in the NEHR.
While we are broadly supportive of the aims of the HCSA and the NEHR, the privacy protections and rights of access for patients in the draft Bill are inadequate and should be strengthened.
MARUAH’s feedback on the HCSA and NEHR is appended below. For more information on the HCSA, see MOH’s website at http://www.hcsa.sg