Health Information Privacy Laws and Policies: Do We Need More Policies in the Arab World?

Hanan Ahmed ASIRI

Abstract


The privacy of patients’ health information is an important aspect of the healthcare delivery. Within the health informatics community, there has been a debate about the role of health care policy in maintaining patients' privacy when using and sharing their health information by their clinicians. Some argue that stringent healthcare policies will empower the patients and improve the patient-clinician relationship. Others argue that having more health privacy policies will actually affect the patient–clinician relationship and will hinder the exchange of important information not to mention that it contradict with some of our cultural norms. These two arguments make valid points. Considering this debate, the purpose of this position paper is to provide an argument regarding the need for stringent healthcare policies. In this position paper, I argue that stringent healthcare policies are needed and will empower the patients and improve the patient-clinician relationship. Additionally, this paper continues the discussion that was raised by Almulhim’s paper regarding the role of health policy in shaping health information technology uptake within healthcare.

Keywords


Health Information Privacy; Laws; Policies; Arab World.

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