Dh700,000 fine for shar­ing pa­tient data

FNC PASSES NEW LAW TO EN­SURE CON­FI­DEN­TIAL­ITY OF IN­FOR­MA­TION

Gulf News - - Nation - BY SAMIR SALAMA As­so­ci­ate Edi­tor

Pub­lish­ing a med­i­cal ad­ver­tise­ment with­out a li­cence will at­tract a fine of be­tween Dh100,000 and Dh200,000, ac­cord­ing to a new Fed­eral Bill passed yes­ter­day by the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil.

The new leg­is­la­tion also pro­hibits han­dling, trans­fer­ring or stor­ing of med­i­cal records and health in­for­ma­tion out­side the coun­try. Those who vi­o­late this ar­ti­cle will face a fine rang­ing be­tween Dh500,000 and Dh700,000.

Puni­tive mea­sures against health fa­cil­i­ties which vi­o­late the law will range from writ­ten no­tice, writ­ten warn­ing, to a fine be­tween Dh1,000 and Dh1 mil­lion through to tem­po­rary sus­pen­sion and can­celling of per­mis­sion to use the cen­tral in­for­ma­tion sys­tem.

Mem­bers of the Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil yes­ter­day passed the draft law on the use of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies (ICTs) in health care fa­cil­i­ties across the coun­try.

Mem­bers of the House stressed ICT is a ma­jor fac­tor that will sup­port the achieve­ment of UAE’s var­i­ous health care ob­jec­tives, both in the short and long term.

The ICTs-based health care law will be ap­pli­ca­ble to all health fa­cil­i­ties across the coun­try in­clud­ing those in free zones.

Ab­dul Rah­man Mo­ham­mad Al Owais, Min­is­ter of Health and Pre­ven­tion and Min­is­ter of Fed­eral Na­tional Coun­cil (FNC) Af­fairs, said the new law en­vis­ages de­vel­op­ing state-of-the-art, pa­tient-cen­tred health care de­liv­ery sys­tems that match the best global stan­dards and rank among the best in the world.

In­no­va­tion and ex­cel­lence is a ma­jor theme of the health care de­vel­op­ment strate­gies of GCC mem­ber states. The UAE is at the fore­front of these de­vel­op­ments, with the UAE Vi­sion 2021 aim­ing to cre­ate a world­class health care sys­tem.

UAE hos­pi­tals have al­ready in­tro­duced smart med­i­cal records, en­hanc­ing how, where and why pa­tient in­for­ma­tion is col­lected and stored. On the back of such ad­vances, health and well­ness tourism in­creased 12 per cent last year, with 350,000 visi­tors recorded.

Draft law

Ac­cord­ing to the draft law, pa­tients’ med­i­cal records and health in­for­ma­tion must be kept safe and pri­vate by all med­i­cal and health care pro­fes­sion­als, and all health care fa­cil­i­ties such as hos­pi­tals and clin­ics. The med­i­cal records and health in­for­ma­tion may not be re­leased with­out writ­ten ap­proval from the pa­tients, ex­cept for in­for­ma­tion re­quired by in­sur­ance com­pa­nies and health care providers for re­view and ap­proval of med­i­cal treat­ment, sci­en­tific and clin­i­cal re­search pro­vided that ethics are met, pre­ven­tive mea­sures on re­quest from health fa­cil­i­ties and ju­di­cial au­thor­i­ties.

The draft law sets the min­i­mum re­ten­tion pe­riod of med­i­cal records and health in­for­ma­tion at 25 years.

The new leg­is­la­tion makes it il­le­gal to pub­lish any med­i­cal ad­ver­tise­ment with­out a li­cence. It au­tho­rises the Min­istry of Health and Pre­ven­tion to ban web­sites which pub­lish ad­ver­tise­ments with­out li­cence from the min­istry.

In the re­al­i­sa­tion of these am­bi­tious health care goals, health care in­dus­tries across the GCC states are ex­pected to post dou­ble-digit an­nual growth rates over the com­ing years. And in the con­text of the grow­ing lo­cal health needs and the pre­vail­ing med­i­cal fo­cus on chronic dis­eases, GCC health care sys­tems are also ex­pected to un­dergo a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion go­ing for­ward.

The min­istry will set up a cen­tral sys­tem for stor­ing and ex­change of med­i­cal records and health in­for­ma­tion. The law obliges all health fa­cil­i­ties to join the cen­tral sys­tem.

The min­istry will also de­velop ICTs poli­cies and carry out ICTs ini­tia­tives and pro­grammes.

The min­istry will also en­sure in­tegrity and cred­i­bil­ity of the med­i­cal records and health in­for­ma­tion, ac­cord­ing to the draft law.

Ab­dul Rah­man/Gulf News

FNC Speaker Dr Amal Al Qubaisi and Ab­dul Rah­man Mo­ham­mad Al Owais en­gaged in a dis­cus­sion on the side­lines of the FNC ses­sion in Abu Dhabi yes­ter­day.

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