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NHS Computer Link Plan Is Wasteful, Feel Experts

The NHS computer link, which was to have cost £6.2 billion, originally is now being spoken of as a £20 billion projects//. Experts say this is a waste of the taxpayers' money.

Prof Martyn Thomas, visiting professor at Oxford University Computing Laboratory, said, 'This programme shows many signs that it is at risk of failing. We are hearing concerns about computer products being used in a way that manufacturers have advised against. These concerns are coming from people who fear their jobs are at risk if they speak out. Problems with computer systems cannot be bullied into submission.' The project is now delayed by at least two and a half years. Tony Blair envisaged the project as a paperless NHS in that patients' records and prescriptions would be available at a click. But technical difficulties have jeopardized the initiative and it seems like more and more people are convinced its failure. Prof Ross Anderson, a computer scientist from Cambridge University said that the failure was one thing, but people could die because of any problem in the computers. 'If it goes wrong for the NHS system it will be a slower collapse, but people could die. If you can't get your referral for your lumpectomy for breast cancer on time that could be fatal,' he added.

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