Unacceptable that medical database is not adopted nationwide

I am glad the Ministry of Health is finally thinking of making it compulsory for private-sector health service providers to get on board the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR) (MOH to spur private sector input for health database; July 3).

When I switched to a new private healthcare provider two years ago, I was surprised that it could not pull up my health records from my previous provider for comparison.

Being a country that takes pride in having a world-class healthcare system and that is one of the most digitally connected nations, it is unacceptable that we do not yet have a medical database that is adopted nationwide.

As I have certain drug allergies, I am always concerned that if I were to be taken unconscious to a hospital, the medical staff may not be aware of it.

The private sector healthcare providers probably fear that by sharing their patient data, they might lose their patients to other providers.

Thus, they will likely drag their feet and find reasons why it is difficult for them to implement it.

I hope the MOH can see through this and make inputting data in the NEHR compulsory for all healthcare providers as soon as possible.

The NEHR will not only save lives, but it will also save costs for patients.

Yeo Chee Kean

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2017, with the headline 'Unacceptable that medical database is not adopted nationwide'. Print Edition | Subscribe