8 May 2013

Electronic patient records are safe says ministry

12:11 pm on 8 May 2013

The Ministry of Health is reassuring the public their medical records will not be leaked if they are transferred electronically.

Concern has been expressed in the wake of several high-profile privacy breaches, including one at Auckland City hospital, where staff accessed a patient's medical images after an eel became trapped in his rectum.

The ministry is developing a database that will allow people to log in and access their personal health records through their district health boards.

Programme director Graeme Osborne said the system is robust and any offenders can easily be traced.

He said the number of electronic transfers of medical records by GPs who have adopted the system has grown to 10,000 per month.