Without stricter laws and stricter regulation of the private sector, Quebec’s health care system is vulnerable to a flight like that at Desjardins, believes the Quebec Association of Health Information Managers (AGISQ).
“I think that the security of health information should be as strong as that of the army,” says Alexandre Allard, president of AGISQ, representing the province’s medical archivists.
Mr. Allard would like the provincial government to strengthen its Privacy Act to better protect the files of 8 million Quebeckers.
“The act says what institutions are obligated to do, but not how they should do it. Since it is not written, it means that everything is allowed. ”
– Alexandre Allard, President of AGISQ
He would like the protocols to be better standardized to ensure a more uniform level of security. According to him, some sectors of the health network are very well secured, while others, no.
The private sector must not escape this stricter regulation, explains the president of AGISQ. “An office of private medicine is responsible for the security of its information, if there is a breach, it is his fault,” he says. According to him, Quebec could be inspired by European countries where private companies have to prove to the authorities that the data security of their users is exemplary.
Doubts about centralization
The Quebec government’s plan to centralize the data and entrust some of it to the private sector will not solve all the problems, according to Mr. Allard.
In February, the government’s Minister of Digital Transformation, Eric Cairo, announced plans to centralize government data on three servers. The rest of the information, 80%, would be entrusted to the private sector, to companies like Google, Microsoft or Amazon.
Centralization increases the risk of massive data leakage, says Allard.
“If everything is in the same place and there is a breach, the person will have access to 100% of your medical data. ”
– Alexandre Allard
In order to improve security, the president of AGISQ encourages the provincial government to set up a parliamentary commission on the security of personal data in Quebec.
The Parti Québécois had called for such a commission in early July, in the wake of the leak of personal information of 2.9 million members of Desjardins. Prime Minister François Legault said such an initiative was “premature”.