"A digital European medical dossier offers great benefits"

Martin Buijsen

The European Commission is working on potentially implementing a digital European identity document. This document could possibly be linked to medical files. According to Martin Buijsen, Professor of Health Law at Erasmus School of Law, such a digital European medical dossier offers opportunities as long as the right preconditions are met. As part of the Metro News panel, he explained his viewpoint.

"A medical file that can be shared with healthcare providers abroad offers great benefits. Every country currently has its' own systems, ways of saving and editing", explains Buijsen. European integration of medical files is more efficient and could make a difference in life-threatening situations. According to Buijsen, everyone profits from a digital European medical dossier.

Important precondition
The Professor of Health Law of the Erasmus University Rotterdam does have one critical precondition: "individuals should decide who has access to their medical dossier so that they are the ones that decide who can consult the files." Currently, it is unclear if this requirement is implemented in the proposal. Still, Buijsen expects this will happen: "All countries in Europe have similar views on medical files and the handling of medical information. Generally, the patient decides who has access to this information, which is accepted all over Europe. I do not expect that a European medical file would be considered without any say of the patient."

Buijsen does not have any concerns about patients' privacy because the entire EU uses the same privacy rules: "the same rules subject informational privacy in the entire European Union. The establishment of a European digital identity document and medical dossier does not pose any increasing threats compared to a national digital identity document or a national medical dossier." 

More information

Read all the reactions of the panel of Metro here (in Dutch).

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