On Wednesday (27), the House of Representatives approved the bill that authorizes and formulates the practice of telehealth services throughout the national territory, and covers all health professions subject to regulation. The proposal (PL 1998/20) will be sent to the Senate.
Written by Rep. Adriana Ventura (Novo-SP) and 14 other deputies, the project was approved in an alternative form of the rapporteur, Rep. Pedro Villa (PSDB-AL), which expanded the original text, previously limited to physicians.
According to the text, telehealth will be considered a method of providing telehealth through the use of information and communication technologies.
These technologies include, among other aspects, the secure transmission of health data and information through text, sounds, images and other forms deemed appropriate.
The business of a health professional exercised in this way will be valid throughout the national territory, and those who practice the profession in another jurisdiction exclusively through this method will not need a secondary or other supplementary registration with their State Council.
However, it will be mandatory to register, with the Regional Councils of Medicine (CRMs) for the states in which it is headquartered, for medical services intermediary firms. These companies are considered to be companies that directly or indirectly employ medical professionals to perform telemedicine.
The medical technical director of these companies must also be registered with the CRM at the company’s website, under pain of committing a health infraction.
For Adriana Ventura, “The pandemic has taught everyone a lot, showing that Brazil needs to regulate the practice of telehealth.”
The project rapporteur also defended the approval. “Our main goal was to ensure universal health care throughout Brazil, and technology is an ally for that,” said Pedro Villila.
The text repeals Law 13.989/20, which allowed telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
freedom of decision
The alternative guarantees “professional freedom and complete independence” for deciding whether or not to use telehealth, including with regard to first consultation, care or procedure, and the ability to choose to use face-to-face care whenever necessary.
For the patient, the practice of telehealth must also be carried out with his free and informed consent or with the consent of his legal representative.
Seeking agreement in a plenary vote, Villila included an excerpt from an amendment by Representative Reginaldo Lopez (PT-MG) to specify that the patient would ensure face-to-face care whenever requested.
In any case, the practice of telehealth will be under the responsibility of the health professional, who must follow the dictates of the Civil Framework of the Internet, the Medical Code Act, the GDPR, the Consumer Defense Act, and when. Applicable, Electronic Medical Records Act.
Rules and supervision
With regard to the rules of practice, the text specifies that the normative law in which there are any restrictions on telehealth must have evidence of the need for a measure to avoid harm to the health of patients. In the case of the Unified Health System (SUS), the rules for its operation issued by the governing body must be observed.
The responsibility for supervising ethical standards in the professional practice of telehealth rests with the Federal Councils of the respective professions, applying the approved standards for face-to-face care modalities without conflicting with the project rules.
In order to use telehealth, the project stipulates the principles to be followed in providing telehealth:
- health professional independence;
- free and informed consent of the patient;
- The right to refuse telehealth;
- the dignity and appreciation of the health professional;
- Safe and high-quality patient care;
- data confidentiality;
- promoting universal access for Brazilians to health procedures and services;
- strict adherence to the legal powers of each profession; And
- Digital responsibility.
Source: Camera News Agency