In a progressive move, the province of British Columbia (B.C.) released a combined driver’s license and health services card. The new cards have dual functions as both a driver’s license, as well as an identification card for health care services. Security features included on the new cards include a photograph and an expiration date, as well as a microchip, which will eventually be used with a PIN allowing users to access various services.
The new cards represent a major leap forward with regard to security for the services card. The current CareCards, which will be fully phased out by 2018 and replaced with this new services card, were first issued in 1989. According to B.C.’s Minister of Health, Margaret MacDiarmid, the additional security features should help reduce the incidence of health care fraud.
Some Canadian citizens are concerned about the potential for integration of their personal information across multiple platforms. Health Minister MacDiarmid points out that citizens are not required to obtain the combination card; one can still maintain separate driver’s licenses and services cards. The new combined cards carry the same fee as a driver’s license, and expire every five years.