Cameron: We'll turn NHS patients into real-time drugs lab rats
Unless they remember to opt-out
Prime minister David Cameron said his government is launching a consultation on changing the NHS constitution so that the "default setting" is for patients' data to be used for research unless the patient opts out.
In a speech to the Global Health Policy Summit in London, he said that the UK is going to be the "world leader" in making real-time patient data available for drug development.
"We're going to do this by harnessing the incredible data collected by our National Health Service," he said. "This will make anonymised data available to scientists and researchers on a scale never seen before."
In the prime minister's view this will help make the UK the best place in the world to carry out cutting edge research.
Nick Pickles, director of privacy and civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch, said that patients should have control over their medical records and that they are not for the government to give away.
"Anonymised data is not always as anonymous as it sounds, as has been warned by academics and medical professionals," he said. "Once the floodgates are opened it will only be a matter of time before data is re-identified and used for other purposes.
"The government urgently needs to confirm that these proposals will not create a national database of everyone's DNA by the back door and legislate to put into law that this must not happen."
This article was originally published at Government Computing.
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Re: Yes Mr Cameron, except...
As for dismantling the NHS, doesn't sound like a bad idea. As long as treatment is free at the point of use and of good quality, who cares!
Yes because a dismantled NHS rebuilt from Private companies is going to stay free to use for how long? The NHS has it's problems, sure, but I think people forget just how lucky we are.
As an example, having grown tired of getting addicted to prescription painkillers (I don't blame the GP, we were both told Tramadol was 'non-addictive'!) I discussed the matter with the doc and moved myself onto a more, ahem, natural product.
Now, if I'm skint, I have to go without pain relief. Not at all pleasant, especially when it looks like it may be a full month before I can purchase another stash (yes, sadly I'm that broke at the moment). I've spent most of my life in pain, so whilst not nice, an extra month's not going to kill me. But it did make me think, what if all healthcare came with the proviso that you've got to be able to afford it (or at least, an insurance policy?).
Bearing in mind I actually had to consider whether I could afford to continue my life insurance this month, how would I (and others in a similar position) cope if the only way you could get (non-emergency) medical care was to pay for it (with money you don't have).
From my point of view, that's a shit state of affairs. Yes the NHS may be slow and sometimes inadequate, but at least there's some provision there. I made the choice to switch to a more privately sourced form of analgesia and knew what I was getting into, but would I do the same for all my healthcare (or may family's)? Fuck no.
The problem we have is that funding to the NHS will slowly decline as the private sector takes over (especially whilst the Tories are in power) and we'll end up with a new NHS called BUPA. If you want to sit back and watch it happen, it's your perogative, but having seen a little of the other side of the fence I intend to do what I can to fight it (which at the moment is probably limited to arm-chair complaining!)
Would you bring the straitjacket and restraints to cubicle three please. Mr Cameron's has got out of bed again.
He just keeps muttering "world leader" again and again. The poor man clearly has delusions of adequacy.
We should never have allowed him to watch the Olympics.
the tories really are scum huh? this is a money move, and nothing else.