All patients in England are to have online access to their personal GP records by 2015.
Details of the move, including how security of the records will be protected, will feature in the Government's information strategy which is soon to be published, the Department of Health said.
The Government had planned to announce the move in the next few weeks but the plans were thrown awry when the Health Service Journal found the reference to it in the Autumn Statement.
Ministers believe that giving patients more control over their records will encourage them to be more active in caring for their own health and make them better able to monitor the performance of their GPs. Doctors are expected to keep more accurate records once they know that patients will be watching. Online access has been piloted in some areas but is not available everywhere.
The British Medical Association has warned that online access could carry dangers, including security breaches, patients coerced into releasing information, or becoming upset when accessing distressing information without support.Reuse content