Ontario’s Health Minister Eric Hoskins is backing up recommendations from the Premier’s business advisor that patients should have access to their own electronic medical records and that the agency remain fully under government control.
Former TD Bank CEO Ed Clark, brought in by the Liberals to provide consulting on Ontario’s digital health strategy, and says it only makes sense to allow patients to interact with their own personal health information within the the next 5 to 7 years.
A report spearheaded by Clark, that bases it’s recommendations from a dialogue with leaders in the healthcare sector and experts outside of the country, is providing suggestions on how to build the asset of eHealth to better serve consumers.
Clark’s report goes on to say that the value of Ontario’s digital health sector is about $5.7 billion and suggests that no digital assets need to be sold to the private sector to offset costs.
“We need to set accountable targets and be direct on comprehensive adoption on digital health tools,” Clark said about the next steps for the program, “We must improve vendor management, reinforce cyber security, and be vigilant on patient security.”
Despite the Liberals reaffirming there will be no sale of eHealth or any of its assets, the New Democrats say they don’t believe them.
NDP finance critic Catherine Fife is not buying the stance on the potential of selling off some eHealth assets. Fife says the language the Liberals are using is similar to verbiage used during the sell off of Hydro One.
“They’re using the exact same language: broadening, augmenting, modernizing, leveraging,” said Fife. “They’ve got their privatization thesaurus out and they’re using it day in and day out.”