Health dept's private info denial 'misleading' - DA

2017-01-24 19:02
Dr. Wilmot James

Dr. Wilmot James

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Cape Town - The health department's denial that it is improperly collecting private information from medical aid members is "highly misleading", the DA said on Tuesday.

"The DA challenges the department to make public the exact methodology used to collect this information and whether this methodology complies with the provisions of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI)," DA health spokesperson Wilmot James said in a statement.

James said the party would lay a complaint against the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) with the Information Regulator.

He said it was possible to create a health plan without "encroaching" on private information of citizens.

James claimed on Monday that the department was "unlawfully" trying to collect information of all medical aid members through the CMS, to set up a "beneficiary registry".

Ministry spokesperson Joe Maila told News24 that the registry's purpose was to ensure that the public sector could identify private medical scheme members when their scheme needed to be billed for services rendered in the public sector.

It was not to collect private information for research purposes, he said.

- Read more: DA to lodge complaint over health dept's proposed citizen registry

James said the ministry's response was lacking in four areas. He said the department:
- was silent on how the security and integrity of the confidential, personal information would be ensured;
- had failed to confirm whether members of private medical aid schemes had consented to their information being used;
- had failed to give a compelling reasons for wanting access to this personal information in the first place; and
- had not confirmed if the Information Regulator had agreed to the gathering of this information.

Read more on:    da
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