UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Roll up! Roll up! Private firms tap into another NHS cash cow

Another wheeze from this sleazy government to look for new profit opportunities from the health of people. Later this year drugs, insurance and other corporations will be able to buy patient information trawled from GP practices across England. The confidential and highly personal information will be uploaded onto a central medical data register. We now know that nothing is sacred when it comes to making a buck. The government spent billions of pounds wrecking the NHS in order to be able to move shed loads of services into hands of greedy privateers. But never could we have foreseen the lengths the government would go in order to open up new streams of potential profit for their corporate friends.

Companies and research organisations will be able to apply for access to the data. For a price, extracts can be bought and utilised by companies to determine health trends in different parts of the country. The information will also give life habits such as smoking, and alcohol use.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre who will be responsible for the data base accepts that it is not possible to completely anonymise the information.

Patients will no longer be confident who holds information on their medical health or what will be done with it.

This is a real scandal and the Trade Union Movement needs to speak out against this gross interference in people’s privacy. The Labour Party should be screaming from the roof tops of The Commons demanding a total block of selling or even providing information on the nation’s health to corporate fat cats. It is our data and it should remain private.

Contact your MP now and demand that she or he stops this obscene racket.