Alberta privacy commissioner to review proposed changes to health legislation

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EDMONTON — Alberta's information and privacy commissioner says she was not consulted on proposed changes to the Health Information Act, but will review them as they are being debated in the legislature.

Jill Clayton says in a statement she has concerns about amendments put forward by the United Conservative government.

The bill was introduced in the legislature by Health Minister Tyler Shandro on Thursday.

He said in the legislature that it would modernize the province's health legislation to better reflect its current health system and to support patient-centred care.

Shandro also said the changes would allow for broader use of electronic health records and increase penalties for unauthorized use of patient health information.

Clayton says it's extremely disappointing that she wasn't consulted on the bill before it was introduced.

"It goes without saying, as the person responsible for the oversight of Albertans’ privacy rights, that I would have expected the opportunity to review and comment on these changes prior to the bill being introduced in the legislature," Clayton said in her statement late Thursday.

"Nevertheless, now that the bill will be debated in the legislature, I look forward to reviewing these amendments in detail and will soon be making my comments on this bill public."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press