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Health Minister Michelle Thompson (File Photo)

Province moves closer to accessing private health data

By Kevin Northup Apr 4, 2024 | 3:29 PM

The province may soon have access to your medical data.

Amendments to the Financial Measures Act are coming that would grant the access to the health minister.

But opposition leader Zach Churchill says patients trust information they give to their doctor won’t go further.

“We’ve heard from sexual assault survivors that if they thought their information was going to be in the hands of the health minister or another staffer, they wouldn’t have given that information to their doctor,” said Churchill.

Liberal amendments to the act were voted down by government Thursday.

They included an opt-out option for patients, and consultations with Doctors Nova Scotia and other groups.

Churchill adds, it could be dangerous.

“We just had the biggest cybersecurity breach in our province’s history. What happens if personal health information is hacked? I think government needs to think this through.”

On March 25, Health Minister Michelle Thompson said there have been consultations, and the changes would help them gather more data to help the healthcare system.

“I have access to virtual care, urgent and emergency care, but I can’t get an insight into how many visits there are. So we need access to aggregate data that will help us make better informed decisions,” said Thompson.

The Bill is scheduled for third and final reading on Friday.