Yukon debates health privacy laws

Yukon debates health privacy laws The Yukon government has tabled new health privacy legislation. The act will set the ground rules for collecting and sharing personal health information.

The Yukon government has tabled new health privacy legislation.

The act will set the ground rules for collecting and sharing personal health information.

Significantly, it also lays the groundwork for establishing an electronic health information system for the territory.

Diane McLeod-McKay, Yukon’s information and privacy commissioner, released her comments on the new act last week.

While she did not have any big areas of concern with the legislation, she suggested that Yukoners should pay close attention to figure out if the privacy controls in the act meet their needs.

“Despite its length and complexity, it is important that Yukoners and other stakeholders read the HIPMA together with these comments and communicate their views to MLAs on the adequacy of the privacy controls in the HIPMA as it moves through the legislative process.”

When the act came up for debate in the legislature this week, opposition members complained that they had been given only a one-hour briefing on the 105-page act on the morning that it came up for debate.

“We’re charged with the responsibility of informed debate and what we saw this morning was an absolute disregard for that,” said NDP Opposition Leader Liz Hanson. “The minister tasked officials with trying to do a speed brief on a very complex piece of legislation.”

“The amount of information in this bill is astounding,” said interim Liberal Leader Sandy Silver. “Why this government waits until the last day that we introduce this bill into the legislature to be the day that we receive our briefing on this bill and from the department is beyond me.”

(Jacqueline Ronson)