IPPOSI Calls for Members of the Public to Apply for Citizens’ Jury on Access to Health Information

A nationwide campaign launched by the Irish Platform for Patients’ Organisations, Science & Industry (IPPOSI) will identify 25 members of the public, broadly representative of the Irish population who will become members of a Citizens’ Jury to deliberate on the matter of access to health information.

What is it?

A Citizen’s Jury is a method of public deliberation that invites a cross-section of the public to learn about a topic over several online sessions, to analyse the pros and cons of proposals and to generate their own recommendations.

Why is it important to have a Citizens’ Jury on health information?

Health information can be valuable for making decisions about individual care, but also for managing the future of health services more broadly. Health leaders, researchers and companies are all keen to have access to this information. But this is information about people, and those people should have a say in how it is viewed, shared and used. This jury aims to let you have your say!

Closing date Sunday January 31, 2021

Following careful deliberation by the jury, the aim is to arrive at a consensus on the issues raised, with recommendations delivered to Government in the context of the development of new health information legislation and the creation of a national Electronic Health Record.

Dr. Derick Mitchell, CEO of IPPOSI,  believes the Citizens’ Jury is an opportunity to “cross-examine” the experts: “I think it’s fair to say that people generally acknowledge that health professionals need to be able to access our health information when it comes to delivery of our individual treatment and care. Nurses and doctors need to able to look up our charts to review our medical history before deciding on what investigations or treatments to undertake.

“However, when it comes to use of that information for a wider purpose, such as informing developments in broader health service delivery or research, people want to know more about who will be looking at their information and why.

“We want to know the jury’s views on whether a balance can be struck between individual information needs and using that information more broadly when in the public interest. If so, how do we ensure transparency and trust in the system to safeguard its use?”

When and how will the jury take place?

The Citizens’ Jury will sit virtually during the month of April for a series of two-hour sessions and, in recognition of their commitment, members will receive a €400 gratuity for their participation.

The jury’s work is being overseen by an oversight board comprising representatives of HIQA, Dublin City University, CareDoc, Rare Diseases Ireland, Health Research Charities Ireland, the Irish EUPATI National Platform, Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Universities Association.

To be a member of the Citizens’ Jury, applicants must be aged 18 years and above, and resident in Ireland. The successful applicants will be selected based on criteria that reflects a broadly representative cross-section of the Irish population.

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