Today Bill 13 (The Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act No. 2) received First Reading. I’ve had a chance to review some of these newly proposed laws and came across a potentially troubling section seeking to give ICBC significant powers to access the medical records of British Columbians.
Specifically, the Government is proposing to amend section 25 of the Motor Vehicle Act as follows:
Information-sharing agreement for Medicare Protection Act purposes
25.02 (1) The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may enter into an information-sharing agreement with the Medical Services Commission under the Medicare Protection Act for the purposes of collecting, using and disclosing personal information necessary for the administration of
(a) section 25 (1.3) of this Act, and
(b) the Medicare Protection Act, as it relates to the enrollment and renewal of enrollment of beneficiaries under that Act.
(2) If the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia enters into an information-sharing agreement under subsection (1), the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia may, in accordance with the agreement, collect and use personal information from, and disclose personal information to, the Medical Services Commission.
This new power is being given to ICBC to help introduce a new Care Card which is designed to cut down on fraud. While fraud protection is laudable its important not to exceed this goal by unnecessary erosion of the privacy rights of British Columbians. A review of the proposed change does not seem to put any concrete limits on ICBC’s power to access medical records or the use these can be put to once obtained.
If you have concerns about this new proposed power I suggest you contact your local MLA or BC’s current Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General (Shirley Bond) and voice these before this bill passes into law.