Costa Rica Coffee Guide

High Court Orders Fast Access to Med Files

June 13, 2008

The nation’s

Constitutional Court

(Sala IV) recently ruled that families have the right to immediately receive copies of their loved ones’ medical records.

According to a court press release, the Social Security Administration, also known as La Caja, had been stonewalling providing medical records to two individuals – last names Alfaro and Sandoval.

Alfaro had been trying on behalf of her husband to get his records for months from the San Juan de Dios hospital in San José so he could get a second opinion on his gallstones.

Sandoval wanted the medical records of her mother, who passed away in the EBAIS hospital in San José earlier this year.

The

Constitutional Court

emphasizes that medical records are to be kept confidential from everyone except patients and their family members.

“There is no doubt that medical files are confidential, considering the sensitive and private data they contain” the ruling states.

“However, the confidential nature isn’t sufficient enough to restrict the patient’s own consultation nor to deny the medical records to children of the deceased.”

 

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