Government has been quick to reassure us that patient files have not been broken into during the present cyber hacking crisis. That is true of the cyber hackers. The real hackers are in Whitehall. A year or two ago patients were invited to opt out of medical record sharing, but civil servants ‘were not able to implement the necessary codes leaving your medical notes open to a large umber of prying eyes within the NHS as well as outsiders. Even the Home Office can have a browse for illegal migrants whereabouts.
Over 4000 NHS employees are alleged to be able, in theory, to get into a patient’s file. Low level clerks recruited from Job Centres can, after a quick CRB check, work in NHS General Practice IT centres where they have access to your files.
Furthermore it is not possible to live in Britain and at the same keep your medical history secret, that is if you want a job and a mortgage. Most employers will not employ you unless you sign away your rights to keep your medical history from them. If you want a mortgage the same applies. Drug companies can buy ‘anonymised’ medical records from the NHS for research purposes, but if they know your age, sex and roughly where you live, it is not hard to identify you.
The General Medical Council which used to be the doctors’ self regulatory body and was there to protect patients, was taken over by Blair’s Government by stealth and is now firmly in the hands of the civil service. Doctors, who previously elected their own representatives on to the committee were barred from voting. Instead like North Korea, new representatives having been appointed in secret by Whitehall are presented to the medical profession without consultation. Hardly a month or two goes when the Government through the GMC does not issue some new regulation obliging GPs – sometimes at the risk of imprisonment – to break patient doctor confidentiality – in the interests of the state you understand. Are they the same interests as yours ?