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Cabinet pushes for electronic patient records

The government is seeking to introduce an electronic platform to exchange information on patients as part of efforts to make the healthcare system more efficient.

Interior Minister Didier Burkhalter said the creation of a legal basis was key for a success of electronic patient records.

Participation in the electronic system should be voluntary for patients and health insurers would not have access, according to the proposals.

The head of the cantonal health directors, Carlo Conti, said the law was necessary to define the organisational framework and ensure data protection.

Following trials with the e-patient record on a regional level, the system could be introduced nationwide.

Conti called for better cooperation between doctors, hospitals and other health services to increase productivity and avoid extra costs.

The proposals are submitted to a consultation procedure by political parties, organisations and interest groups before the bill is presented to parliament.

The plan is part of an e-health strategy between the federal authorities and the 26 cantons approved in 2007.

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