Could Gov't misuse Summary Care Records for self-serving reasons?

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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.

"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 a particular political banner...

"In the Times article, 40-year-old Janet Arslan, a graphic designer, said: 'When I received the breast cancer card I thought it was from the hospital. I did not think Labour would be that crass to deliberately target a terminal cancer patient like me'..."

Dr Peverley adds:

"If women were targeted on the basis of cancer treatment or investigations then that would mean someone in the Labour party had gained access to confidential medical records and used them for political ends.

"If that were true it would be nauseating, but there's no guarantee that any other political party, unused as they are to basic morality, would act any differently..."

[Thank you to GP Neil Bhatia for drawing this Pulse article to my attention]


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