The Australian College of Ambulance Professionals (ACAP) has welcomed the proposals by the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) for universal electronic health records.

The NHHRC has recommended that by 2012, every Australian should be able to have a personal electronic health record that will at all times be owned and controlled by that person.

ACAP also strongly supports the principles of confidentiality and the need for an awareness campaign to inform consumers and health professionals about the significant benefits and safeguards of the proposed e-health initiative.

Speaking in Melbourne, the National President of ACAP (Mr Ian Patrick) said that the profession believed that a readily accessible personal electronic health record would be a welcome step forward in the delivery of improved health care.

Reliable health information was particularly significant in the delivery of emergency medical services, and paramedics were among the health professionals who would take immediate  advantage of such a record because of the common need for speedy interventions under emergency conditions.

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