The database that will store the entire nation’s health records has a series of “backdoors” that will allow police and government bodies to access people’s medical data.
And no. It won’t matter if you’ve opted out, as you’re advised to do in these very pages.
Advocates say that sharing data will make medical advances easier and ultimately save lives because it will allow researchers to investigate drug side-effects or the performance of hospital surgical units by tracking the impact on patients.
Oh, of course they do. Of course they do.
Brian Jarman – the co-founder of Dr Foster, the healthcare information provider, and professor of health economics at Imperial College – said the system should be “opt in, not opt out”. He said: “There is simply too much data and the risks that something leaks are too great. We need to slow this process down to ensure we have the right checks in place.”
Slow it down? I’d rather see it stopped in its tracks…
A Department of Health spokesperson said: “There are strong legal safeguards in place to protect patients’ confidentiality. If people do not want their data to be shared, they can speak to their GP and information will not leave the surgery. Any release of identifiable data without consent would only be in a very limited number of exceptional circumstances, where there is a clear basis in existing law – such as for the police to investigate a serious crime.”
No slippery slope here, nothing to see, move along, citizen…