Coronavirus: municipalities gain access to individual patients' information

Coronavirus: municipalities gain access to individual patients' information

Local administrations in Flanders and Brussels will have access to the individual data of those infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19), Flemish Health Minister Wouter Beke says on Monday.

The individual data will be made accessible by a medical expert linked to the city’s care council, which oversees primary care providers.

The councils are now supposed to improve coordination between local administrations and care and assistance providers.

However, the medical experts who have to make the individual data of coronavirus patients accessible have yet to be appointed. This way of working will guarantee that professional secrecy and patients' rights are respected, according to Beke.

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Three scenarios were drawn up to allow local authorities and care providers to help fight a resurgence of coronavirus, as different cities and municipalities do not all have the same needs.

Those scenarios include a focus on raising awareness and enforcing the coronavirus measures, or complementing the central contact tracing system, for example by looking into local clusters.

In a third scenario, administrations will be offered the possibility of setting up an autonomous contact tracing system, linked to specific conditions relating to confidentiality, liability and the guarantee that the data will be transferred to the central system.

Such an autonomous system will be set up in the hard-hit province of West Flanders and will be evaluated after 1 month.

The Brussels Times

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