News release

Amendments Adds Clarity to Act

The province will clarify and strengthen Nova Scotia's Personal Health Information Act through amendments introduced today, May 3, by Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald.

"We are proposing some housekeeping changes that do not change the intent of the act, but will add clarity," Ms. MacDonald said. "The amendments will address minor errors and omissions identified when developing regulations."

The minister is proposing eight minor amendments to the act, which was passed in December 2010.

The Personal Health Information Act will provide clear, consistent rules for managing personal health information. Regulations are being developed for the act, which is expected to come into effect early next year.

"Patients expect that when they receive health care, their privacy will be protected," said Ms. MacDonald. "At the same time, health care professionals must be able to share information in ways that can improve care. This legislation balances these important objectives and allows us to provide better health care for families."

In Nova Scotia, personal health information has been governed by a mix of federal and provincial legislation, health profession codes and organizational policies and procedures. The Personal Health Information Act brings all these protections and rules under one piece of legislation.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Amendments to Nova Scotia's Personal Health Information Act, introduced today (May 3rd) will add clarity and address minor errors and omissions before the act comes into effect next year.

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald says the act will provide clear, consistent rules for the management of personal health information.

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Media Contact:

Theresa Hawkesworth
Health and Wellness 902-424-6883 Cell: 902-719-5004 E-mail: