Why can't patients access their own medical records?

I am due to deliver my baby in five weeks' time, and decided to switch from a gynaecologist in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) to one in a private hospital because of unforeseen circumstances.

The problem is that SGH will not release my medical records, and I have to wait for four to six weeks for a medical report from my doctor.

In the meantime, my new gynaecologist has no access to the results of the pregnancy tests and scans I have undergone.

It appears that SGH patients have no access to their own medical records. If they want a medical report, they must pay between $108.28 and $473.80.

Why can't the hospital simply photocopy the medical records for the patient, or send a soft copy via e-mail, without all this red tape?

What if the patient is urgently admitted to a private hospital, and the doctors there have no access to his medical records?

SGH claims its procedures are to protect patients' confidentiality, but how does this apply when the patient is the one asking for the information?

Aik Hsiao Yen (Ms)

This article was first published on October 25, 2014.
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