The digitalization of healthcare business and the move towards a more patient-focused healthcare is gathering speed. Telemedicine, online medicine purchases, personalized health systems for remote patient monitoring, integrated health information systems, electronic health records, e-prescription, e-referrals have already been established in many countries and have gained in popularity – even in Greece.
Given these developments, one would expect significant legislative upheaval. Besides, the existing Greek legal framework, first adopted in 1997, seems quite obsolete. Although the new General Data Protection Regulation, (GPDR), has taken the recent developments in the health sector into consideration and foresees special rules for medical practice and research, it leaves room for the national legislator to adopt further conditions, including limitations, regarding the processing of genetic, biometric or health-related data. It should be mentioned that the Regulation has immediate effect as of May 2018 in the Greek legal regime. Therefore, national implementation laws are not required. However, according to the relevant ministerial decision which established the Legislative Committee for the Enforcement of Personal Data Legislation, the Committee will examine the possibility of adopting measures for the implementation of the new Regulation. This, by itself, can constitute a barrier or an opportunity for the healthcare industry.
It would be proposed that any rules adopted shall be in line with the rules of other European countries and international standards. The Greek legislature should respond to the needs of an increasingly globalized environment of healthcare actors. Fragmentation and purposeless procedures and limitations should be definitely prevented.
The article under the title “National Legislation GPDR, & Healthcare” by Mrs Ioanna Michalopoulou was published in the May-June 2017 issue of the magazine “Business Partners” of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.