Proposed Bill 59 – The Federation before the Committee on Health and Social Services

Montreal, May 9, 2012 – Today, the Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec is appearing before the Committee on Health and Social Services to express its views and to comment on proposed bill 59, An Act respecting the sharing of certain health information. Since April 25, 2006, two acts and three additional decrees have been adopted leading to the tabling, on February 29, 2012, of this very technical and very large proposed bill whose objective is to set up the architecture and the various operational and informational components of the future Quebec Health Record (QHR).

In general terms, the Federation is in favour of this proposed law that sets out the new framework for the computerized sharing of specific health records. As a matter of fact, the Federation whole-heartedly supports the digital turning that medicine is taking, since computerizing medical files and sharing patient information between the various actors is neither a luxury nor a whim; they are the foundations of the modern and efficient delivery of health care services. To start with, the Federation is pleased that proposed bill 59 reiterates the principle of the patient's implicit consent. In favour of setting up a centralized repository of informational assets, the Federation is also satisfied with the proposed structure as it pertains to the constitution of six clinical domains, which form a solid basis for an electronically-shareable patient record.

On the other hand, although certain defects identified during various working committees (in which the FMSQ participated) have been the object of corrections included in proposed bill 59, the Federation is of the opinion that this proposed bill is incomplete and cannot be adopted in its present form. The Federation has, as well, informed the members of the Committee that it is not in a position to completely evaluate the new proposed structure since, in spite of the 177 sections that the current proposed bill 59 contains, 22 of them provide for the government or the minister to resort to the adoption of regulations and policies to clarify several provisions of an operational nature.

Highlighting the fact that sharing information should be at the heart of the process, the Federation hopes that several amendments will be made to the bill with a view to clarifying its extent and its provisions, and thus will ensure the total success of deploying the Quebec Health Record (QHR).

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec brief is available in French on its Web portal at www.fmsq.org.

The Fédération des médecins spécialistes du Québec represents more than 9000 medical specialists certified in one of the 53 recognized medical specialties.