So close, and yet so far.

If you want to imagine what we have in mind with #1Patient1Record4Belgium, you can inform yourself and follow the enormous leap forward that the Nordic countries are making together. There, they are well on their way to standardizing and providing regulated access to registration and management of medical records between countries. Thus, after a slide on an Icelandic glacier, a Dane can also receive the best possible treatment in the emergency room of the Landspítali Fossvogi (the national hospital in Reykjavik). For example, because the caregivers notice that the Dane in question suffers from a chronic stomach ulcer which can make the use of simple ibuprofen fatal.

Respect for privacy

But we can also look closer to home, like in the Netherlands. Although not everyone has their medical history at the push of a button yet, a lot of work is being done to centralize and standardize the data. Patients can then view and share this data through the PGO, Persoonlijke Gezondheidsomgeving (or Personal Health Environment) of their choice. In addition, each person can determine very precisely via the Landelijk Schakelpunt which care providers can exchange data between them and especially which ones do not receive permission to exchange them. For example, your dentist may know about your use of blood thinners, but they don’t need to know anything about the fear of flying you’re being treated for. This privacy and level of control is also a condition of our petition.

Good question

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the search for a better system in Belgium is that we are actually on the right track. We are – as we have already established – the champions of data collection and recording. In addition, digitalization is advanced and healthcare providers regularly exchange data, with or without authorization and undoubtedly with the best intentions. The patient simply does not notice it. He or she has no control and no idea where to look.

A foreigner looking at the medical report and the infrastructure in Belgium from afar might conclude that we have already started to materialize the idea #1Patient1Record4Belgium and then wonder: “But when will they finish it?”

Good question.

Sign the petition if you also think that a transparent healthcare infrastructure for Belgium is not a matter of will, but of necessity.

Jan Vekemans

We have come a long way. So let’s finish the job. Thanks in advance!

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