Maltese citizens who consent to their medical information being accessible from hospitals in European Union countries, can be helped more effectively in case of an emergency while abroad.
Malta is among one of the first European Union countries to start implementing eHealth services, and discussions are underway with the Health Ministry for an increase in the list of countries that will be provided with the medical history of Maltese citizens.
An agreement between Malta and the Health Authorities of the Luxembourg, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Portugal will facilitate the provision of critical medical information about Maltese citizens who need emergency treatment when visiting these countries.
Dr Hugo Agius Muscat, a Public Health Consultant, said that if citizens consent, authorized physicians will have access to medical history which can be transferred between one country to another.
“Will we transfer what is known as a patient’s summary – summary of the most important data about the patient that can be useful in the event of a medical emergency while abroad – eg. if a patient is allergic to any medicine or any antiviral medicines the patient requires or if he has undergone any major operations or has some other important diagnosis such as asthma, “said Dr. Agius Muscat.
Dr. Agius Muscat said that eHealth service is expected to be extended to all European Union countries, with Malta being among the first group of countries to have started implementing this service. He explained that to date there are about 10,000 Maltese citizens who have consented to their information being made accessible when necessary.
“Because of the way data protection laws work, to ensure that your data does not end up in the wrong hands, you must first consent before you travel by entering the portal href=”http://cbeh.gov.mt” the myHealth , there’s a space where you can give cross border consent gives and you accept data to travel with you, so to speak. ”
The Consultant in Public Health said that the service will also be offered from Malta so that in cases of emergency, doctors at Mater Dei Hospital will have access to medical information of patients from Croatia, the Czech Republic and Portugal.
eHealth, which was implemented by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the European Commission and European Union member states, is co-financed by European funds.