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Acting on behalf of children over 10 years to become available in My Kanta Pages – requires significant changes in healthcare services
Currently, a parent or guardian is able to view data concerning a child under the age of 10 in My Kanta Pages. The need to extend the parent’s right to act on behalf of their children has been identified and work on this issue is ongoing. The objective is to complete the task during 2020.
In order to be able to extend the right to act on behalf of a child in My Kanta Pages to children between 10 to 17 years, extensive changes need to be made in patient data systems throughout Finland. Changes are also needed with respect to the way data is recorded in healthcare services.
Parents can currently obtain the data by requesting it from the healthcare service
The objective is that the necessary changes can be completed during 2020. It is not possible to provide a more detailed schedule as the modification work progresses at a different speed across the country and it also depends on the individual decisions of the healthcare organisations.
Currently, a parent can request to view the patient records of their children at a healthcare unit or pharmacy. The parent receives a copy of the records unless a minor, who has been assessed to be capable of making a decision for themselves, has denied this.
“It is important that acting on behalf of children over 10 years will be available in My Kanta Pages as soon as possible. Kela supports the progress of the technical implementation in different parts of the country and is prepared to carry out extensive testing of the information systems,” comments Kela’s Senior ICT Specialist Maritta Korhonen.
My Kanta Pages will not allow access by parents to data concerning children over 10 years of age that has been recorded before the functionality has been implemented.
Why is the data concerning a person between the age of 10 and 17 not available for parents to view?
It must be ensured that the right to self-determination by children and young people is protected under all circumstances. Therefore, in order to extend the parents’ or guardians’ right to act on behalf of children from the age of 10 and under to all underage persons, it is necessary that the professionals will record in the patient data systems whether a minor person capable of making their own decisions allows the disclosure of their data to their parents.
A minor has the right to decide whether to show their information to their parents or guardians if the minor has been assessed by a healthcare unit to be mature enough to decide on their own treatment. The assessment is made separately in each encounter or appointment because the ability to make decisions for yourself is always assessed in relation to each case.
The majority of young people who have been assessed to be mature do want their parents to be able to view the data. However, there are situations where an underage person has a justified reason to deny access to their data by their parents.
The right of a minor capable of making decisions regarding their own treatment and the disclosure of data is not new. The status of minor patients and the right of guardians to obtain information have been provided for in the Patient Act already in 1992.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) provides guidelines for healthcare professionals in terms of the change in procedures and documentation practices.