Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Health

Discussions begin on e-health system

Lawmakers on Thursday began discussion of a bill on e-health, where the medical records of patients will be entered into a database accessible via electronic health cards.

Under the envisaged system, patients visiting their doctor will present their e-health card, which the physician will use to access a database.

The database will contain all the medical information on a patient, including diagnoses, medical treatments, medicine prescriptions and surgeries.

Insurance-related data will also be included.

The information will be accessible by a doctor only for a limited amount of time, said Christos Schizas, advisor to the president on matters relating to e-health.

An electronic file would be created for a person the minute they are born, he said.

The e-health law will apply to all healthcare providers – public and private – also regulating cross-border medical treatment in the European Economic Area.

Schizas said digitization was expected to take one to two years.

The estimated cost of digitization for the Health Insurance Organisation was €50m, and around €70m for hospitals.

With the new system, cash transactions between patients and doctors would become a thing of the past.

The stated goal is to improve efficiency by streamlining patients’ data and eliminating the use of paper.

MPs intend to fast-track the legislation so that implementation of e-health can start sometime this year.

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