Are our medical records a commodity?

GPs are being encouraged by the government to share medical records with so called ‘safe havens’ such as private health care providers and insurers but who will this benefit?

Perhaps the simple answer is we just don’t know, however you can be sure that there is significant commercial advantage in having this type of data readily available.

You may have suffered a severed tendon or a pressure sore 10 years ago and despite you thinking it is merely a part of your medical records there are organisations out there who consider it valuable.

Where does this l
eave patient confidentiality?

The Department of Health has implied that legitimate relationships exist and therefore a duty to share should be acceptable.

But is this a step too far in terms of both morality and data protection?

Although this is tabled for action it may be some time before we see our medical records sold to a ‘third party’ particularly if they happen to be an insurance company.

Our medical records might be considered a little less our own in the future.

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