Saturday 2 November 2019
In a huge database, the information of all cash patients should automatically flow together, so that researchers can access it. The Greens are worried, but the Ministry of Health weighs down: the practice already gives it. With the new law, the flow of data will become faster and better.
The Federal Ministry of Health has rejected the accusations of collecting patient data in large numbers and without any recourse. "We always take data protection and security very seriously." Health data is the most sensitive data that exists, "said the spokesman of the Ministry, Hanno Kautz." There has never been a problem of privacy and data security – and the Greens have never said it, "he said. the spokesperson.
Greens and patient advocates criticize Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn for extensive use of therapeutic data for research purposes. In particular, these are new provisions in a law on the digitization of health care, which the Bundestag is expected to adopt next Thursday. The CDU politician's bill aims to use the social data of health insurance funds on a broader and faster front for research purposes.
To this end, an existing "data processing center" must be further developed into a "research data center" with "a significantly expanded and more updated data offer". Health insurance companies should transfer the data of each insured person, among others, on age, sex, place of residence and care, to the umbrella organization of mandatory health insurance, which forwards them. However, rules for data pseudonymisation are also provided.
Ministry: "The data is already collected today"
The procedure described has already existed for many years, the ministry spokesman said in response to criticism. Billing data would have already been made available for anonymous research today. The new process simply ensures that the data is accessible to search more quickly, with better quality and not years in advance. The search for good health services benefits patients with chronic diseases. "It would be immoral not to improve care using anonymous data, even if it is possible," said Kautz. Only anonymous data will be made available in the future. The legitimate research institutes are exhaustively listed in the law and strictly limited. The industry does not count.
The Greens had previously scolded the minister, worked unnoticed by the public in one of the largest databases in Germany. It was "highly debatable that Spahn galloping the pig almost without social discussion, the complete health information legally insured to make available for research," said the green health expert Maria Klein-Schmeink of the Germany publishing network. He also criticized the fact that the regulations on deadlines for cancellation and the possibility of contradictions should follow only in a regulation.
The board of the German Patient Protection Foundation, Eugen Brysch, stressed that no one doubts the need to collect data and facts for medicine and assistance in Germany. In particular, he is responsible for the Federal Statistical Office. This ensures that the collection of information complies with the highest standards of data protection. "If the federal health minister wants to pave the way, he needs the consent of those affected, but patient privacy plays a rather subordinate role in Jens Spahn," Brysch said. Already the concept for the introduction of the electronic medical record is a "scary example".