Country Correspondent: Margje Haverkamp

In December, Bruno Bruins, the Dutch Minister of Health, wrote a letter to the Dutch parliament announcing stronger incentives to encourage health care providers to share their patients’ data electronically and uniformly. Currently, there is no legal requirement for hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers to exchange information. Bruins wants to legally enforce data-sharing in situations where the responsibility for patients moves from one provider to another, for example after discharge from the hospital. The Dutch government has announced plans to allocate EUR 400 million (USD 452 million) for this project. Earlier and more sweeping attempts by the Dutch parliament to enforce the exchange of medical information failed because of privacy concerns.