Dr Phil Peverley, a GP in Sunderland, writes in Pulse:
“…The Times, on 11 April, reported that the Labour party had sent 250,000 ‘cancer postcards’ to various women.
“Addressed to the recipients by name, they warned that the Labour guarantee to see a cancer specialist within two weeks would be scrapped by the Tories.
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“The cards also claimed that the ‘right’ to be treated within 18 weeks would be abolished by that same political party. They included a message from a breast cancer ‘survivor’ praising her treatment under Labour.”It is not possible to know exactly who these cards were sent to, because Labour won’t say. The recipients may have been selected randomly. But the Times article featured four women – all of whom had cancer or were being investigated for it – and they were the only women they knew who had received one.
“We don’t know where the Labour party got these names and addresses. Not from the care record, because it isn’t that developed yet. But who would think the care record would not be abused when we can’t control who has access?
“I myself investigate and treat women suffering from breast cancer,among other types of illness, but I wasn’t aware I was doing it under aparticular political banner…
“In the Times article, 40-year-oldJanet Arslan, a graphic designer, said: ‘When I received the breastcancer card I thought it was from the hospital. I did not think Labourwould be that crass to deliberately target a terminal cancer patientlike me’…”
Dr Peverley adds:
“If women weretargeted on the basis of cancer treatment orinvestigations then that would mean someone in the Labour party hadgained access to confidential medical records and used them forpolitical ends.
“If that were true it would be nauseating, but there’s no guarantee thatany other political party, unused as they are to basic morality, wouldact any differently…”
[Thank you to GP Neil Bhatia for drawing this Pulse article to my attention]
Seeingvotes in patient votes – Pulse [may require registration]
Database State – Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust