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Former PM Rõivas: Governments Have A Responsibility To Provide Digital Services

It’s fair to say people have better things to do than visit government offices and fill out paper forms — in Estonia the government agrees.

Former Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas spoke to the audience at the ADMA Global Forum about the digital society he helped create but more importantly how Australia should be more open minded when it comes to the contentious topic of the country’s health records database, Which-50 writes.

He noted the positive aspects of having easy access to your health records, “If you have a nationwide electronic health record where every data about you is saved, you could go to a doctor in Melbourne and authorise them to see your health record by going there. For you as a patient it is saving time, it is saving stress and it might save your life if you are in an acute situation you might not have time to re-do all the tests.”

The 39-year-old ex-prime minister addressed the obvious question of: “what if big brother was looking at our records?” He reassured the audience that when putting together the system they added an extra component called “the patient’s portal”.

He explained, “I login to the system with my mobile or ID card and I can have a look at who has looked at my health data at any given time.”

Rõivas said if someone was looking at his records who isn’t supposed to, he can see who it is and when they did it, leaving a “cyber fingerprint”. He said users can also decide what they want their GP to see adding extra privacy to their data.

Rõivas was the Estonian prime minister between 2014 and 2016. During his tenure he oversaw e-residency, which is described as a “transnational digital identity that can provide anyone, anywhere with the opportunity to succeed as an entrepreneur.”

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