The Malaysian Government will spend RM1.5 billion (US$356 million) to share patient data across public hospitals and clinics.

It is creating a shared system for electronic patient records, lab results, discharge summaries and referrals, so that the same information can be accessed by doctors in any health facility across the country.

The Ministry of Health is already testing the system between five hospitals and one clinic. But the project’s “development has been slow”, said Dr S. Subramaniam, Minister for Health. It will take another three to five years to complete, he added.

The project will initially involve only government facilities, but will ultimately include private sector hospitals as well.

It is part of plan to give every citizen access to their health data online, Dr Fazilah Shaik Allaudin, Deputy Director of Telehealth at the Ministry, has told GovInsider.

The most important and relevant records from each hospital will be pulled together onto a portal, where citizens will also be able to add their own data from wearables.