According to BCGEU, the BC government is planning to outsource, to a US company, the operation and maintenance of the mainframe computer servers that contain all provincial documents and e-mails. Does this include your health information? Just in case it doesn’t, another US company will maintain the provincial health data base.
As early as June 2009 the BC Government will implement its provincial database collection of your personal/medical information. The website www.optout.ca provides detailed information, information that should scare you.
This site will tell you that the Province has not stated who will have access (although apparently it will include the government), and whether it will be given to third parties. It does say that the Province used a US-based multi-national company which will be subject to the Patriot Act, allowing the US Government to access this database.
Will it save money? It’s possible. Because I’m sure a lot of people, who need medical care, will not access the health care system because of privacy concerns.
A few excerpts from a talk given by Michael Vonn of the BC Civil Liberties Association (Database Nation and Health Privacy):
“And just so you are clear about the scope of the access, the plan is ultimately for a Pan-Canadian e-health record system. Canada Health InfoWay — which is an organization which receives a lot of money from the federal government, but is not “government” for the purposes of access to information laws, so is completely unaccountable to citizens – exists solely to promote centralized electronic health records, first provincially and ultimately linked so as to be accessible nation-wide.”
“….this is ultimately the thin edge of the wedge. BC’s electronic health information infrastructure is meant to anchor an integration project called the Information Access Layer, which includes the Integrated Case Management Project. This is a massive information-sharing project meant to encompass the entirety of social services in British Columbia and to link information about us from the Ministries of Employment and Income Assistance, Children and Family Development, Health, Education, Justice and the private sectors contractors for all of the above. The government has already issued an RFP, (a Request for Proposals) for this project.”
Please read this article in full, plus “So, what the heck is eHealth”, as well as the other articles. It’s your health, it’s your privacy, or at least it was. You can choose to do nothing and give away your rights or you can choose to try to protect those rights.