The Singapore government is endeavouring to consolidate patient medical records in a common IT system so as to enable sharing of health information between doctors in Singapore, coming from both the public and private sectors, in a secured manner. However, according to Singapore’s Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, some sensitive data pertaining to issues like HIV and sexual diseases will never be shared, and will be kept highly confidential. This centralized database has the potential to transform the healthcare of Singapore.
With the advent of consolidated medical records, now a patient will not have to repeat his tests and scans, if he changes his/her doctor, or visits a different doctor than his/her usual one. This will undoubtedly lead to savings in his/her medical costs. Khaw also said that Singapore would “gradually” graduate to an EMR system. Already some progress has been made in this direction. Several issues, which include data protection, regulation and audit, need to be considered first before moving over to such a system, and Singapore government is naturally introspecting on these pertinent issues.