General Practitioners To Gather Sensitive Data On Patients Beginning Next Year

  • 10 Nov 2017 7:56 AM
General Practitioners To Gather Sensitive Data On Patients Beginning Next Year
General practitioners in Hungary will begin asking their patients questions regarding personal data for the construction of an electronic database starting next July, reports

The new legislation will require doctors to create a detailed electronic record of a patient’s personal data and medical history, relatives’ medical history and further sensitive information based on questions reminiscent of a sociological survey.

The patients will be asked to answer questions such as, “Are you working?”, “Do you drink alcohol?”, “When do you wake up in the morning?” and “How do you see your future?”.

In theory, patients will be permitted to refuse to answer questions not directly related to their health, but any mention of this prerogative reportedly only appears at the end of the “questionnaire”.

According to the government, the data is needed in order to make an accurate assessment of the general state of health of the population. Secretary for health care Zoltán Ónodi-Szűcs said this will help to calculate the cost of “real” health-care needs, and the different therapies and examinations can be directed where there is the biggest need for them, such as cancer screening.

Data protection expert Zoltán Alexin, however, argues that “the new law, as it is, is awful.” Alexin says that “it is important that the patients know it is obligatory to receive preliminary data protection information” before being asked personal questions.

The patients should know who will be able to access their data, as in most cases GPs are obliged to forward such data to various state institutions, complete with the patient’s name and social insurance tax identification number (TAJ-szám).

“The patients should also know that the data placed in the patient record will automatically appear in their profile in the electronic health-care interface, but the patients can prohibit this.”

Source: The Budapest Beacon

Republished with permission

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