Health Minister Gaétan Barrette announced Monday that Quebecers will soon be able to consult their entire medical files online using a password-protected portal.
The new service will allow patients to access information such as prescription history, blood test results and medical imaging reports.
He said it would be like having an online bank account for your health.
"I believe in patients having the fullest information possible. When you look at the literature, you see that that kind of partnership has a very positive effect," Barrette said at a news conference in Montreal.
Safeguards to protect patients
Barrette said there will be safeguards to prevent patients from abruptly learning sensitive information.
Information about mental health, for example, won't be available.
And Barrette said a delay of 30 days would be in place, at first, before any information is released. Eventually, that will be reduced to ten days.
He said the delay would give doctors time to get in touch with patients directly for sensitive diagnoses.
"We don't want patients to learn on a website that they have been diagnosed with a cancer," Barrette said.
Barrette said other provinces have already made some information available online, but he believes Quebec's system will be the "most exhaustive."
The portal, to be called Carnet santé Québec, will be rolled out gradually, starting with some patients in Laval and Quebec City in January. Barrette said by next summer, all patients in Quebec should have access to the site.