Health data authority (GDA) starts in Belgium

In Belgium, a healthcare data authority (GDA) has been officially set up. Specifically, it is about a regulator that helps to keep data securely available, reassures consumers about privacy, but also focuses on product development and the harmonization and documentation of processes. The GDA is an administrative service with accounting autonomy.

Enabling an authority such as the GDA in Belgium could also help the Netherlands to solve the complicated health data puzzle. The new authority supports the transition of the Belgian healthcare system to data-driven care. In concrete terms, this involves making data, research and product development securely available.

With the establishment of the GDA, our Belgian neighbours the Netherlands are one step ahead. It is true that we have three care supervisors: the Care Institute (responsible for everything that is included in the basic package of care), the IGJ (inspects whether the care is delivered as it should and the NZa (responsible for drawing up the rules of the game regarding care provision and reimbursement).

The AP also monitors the privacy of medical data. But we do not yet have a care data supervisor like the GDA. Of course, national and international regulations are being developed regarding health data, such as in Wegiz and the European Health Data Space, but this legislation mainly has a facilitating function.

In the Belgian coalition agreement and the Public Health Policy note, the establishment of the healthcare data authority (GDA) was announced. The GDA can support the digitalisation of care, the exchange of care data and their secure availability. Making data available for policy support, innovation, research and product development is central.

“The easy, uniform, transparent and secure provision of data on health in all its facets should lead to a more qualitative, affordable, preventive and targeted care for every citizen”, we can read in the “preliminary draft law establishing and organizing the health(care)data authority”.

The preliminary draft law provides for the creation of the GDA as an Administrative Service with accounting autonomy. The tasks of the GDA include facilitating lawful access to care data and care-related data, but also documenting and harmonizing processes. GDA also provides a catalogue of the available types of data and organises consultations between the data holders and the data users.

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