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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 12 May 2007

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MOH drafting a National Disease Registry Bill


MOH supports BAC¡¯s Recommendations on Data Protection

On the Bioethics Advisory Committee¡¯s (BAC) report entitled: ¡°Personal Information in Biomedical Research¡±, the Ministry of Health (MOH) welcomes the BAC¡¯s recommendations.
We support the stand that personal information identifiable to an individual participating in human biomedical research should be safeguarded.
Proper rules governing the access and use of personal information and a secure system of information protection would re-assure research subjects on the confidentiality of personal information.
In this connection, MOH is drafting a National Disease Registry Bill to provide an overarching legal framework for the collection of epidemiological information on key diseases for public health policy and planning purposes.
The Bill will state clearly the rules as to whom, and for what purpose, and in what form, the information can or cannot be released. It will make mandatory provisions for data protection and make any breach a punishable offence with jail term and fines.
Once the draft Bill is ready, MOH will seek the public¡¯s views and feedback on this legislation. This is likely to be sometime in the middle of the year.
As for BAC¡¯s recommendation on third party access to predictive genetic test results by employers and the insurance industry, this is a complicated subject, which would require further study by the various regulatory agencies (e.g. MOH, MOM, MAS, etc).
 There is as yet no global consensus on what is the best approach, partly because the science is still evolving.

Source: Press Release 7 May 2007

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Public Holidays VESAK DAY is the next public holiday. It falls on 31 May 2007.