Singapore’s National Health Database

Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) is deliberating making it mandatory for the private sector to join the national health database. The MOH has been trying to get the private sector to participate in the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR) but has not been successful. They are now discussing making participation in the NEHR required under a new Healthcare Services Act so that the private sector will also need to provide patient information to the system.

The NEHR is currently used by all public healthcare institutes in Singapore; however, individuals may opt out if they wish.  The system allows doctors to look at patients’ medical histories, which allows health providers to provide better care by helping to avoid repeated tests or preventing doctors from prescribing medication the patients are allergic to. Many believe that making participation in the NEHR mandatory will help Singaporean doctors provide better care to patients nationwide.