Safeguards in place to protect patient data

We thank Mr Peter Chen for his observations and concerns (Beware of loss of privacy with healthcare database; June 8).

The National Electronic Health Record (NEHR) is for healthcare professionals to provide better patient care.

Access to information on NEHR helps healthcare professionals make better-informed clinical decisions, and could save lives during medical emergencies.

We wish to clarify that insurers do not have access to NEHR. In general, it would be accessed only by authorised healthcare professionals providing care to patients.

Mr Chen's cousin is welcome to provide us with more details of her experience at

We have a range of security measures in place to manage cyber threats and safeguard patient data and our healthcare systems. We work closely with other government agencies to ensure that our cyber security defences are regularly reviewed.

We are, however, mindful of potential pitfalls raised by Mr Chen. We will continue to carefully consider and address them.

Low Cheng Ooi (Associate Professor)
Chief Clinical Informatics Officer
Integrated Health Information Systems

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'Safeguards in place to protect patient data'. Print Edition | Subscribe