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Survey Reveals Rejection of NHS Database Scheme

The department of health, in England had proposed to set up an elaborate national database to store all medical records from hospitals.They had set aside £12 billion pounds for// this computerization project. GPs across Britain, however, are opposed to this project. 52% of GPs opined that they would not like to upload confidential data dealing with patient information, without the prior consent of each patient. A campaign against this move was launched last night in London, to convince people not to allow their medical reports to be uploaded on a national database. The people were informed that this could compromise their privacy severely. No2ID group, is also campaigning against issuing of identity cards.

A charitable Trust, Joseph Rowntree trust, is at the helm of the campaign. They released the ICM poll findings which showed that a substantial number of people are opposed to Whitehall's plans.

The figures exhibit that nearly 53% of the people who were interviewed, expressed strong disapproval or were almost reticent about the Department of Health’s NHS computerisation scheme. Earlier this month a Medix poll, which gathered the opinion of doctors also showed that 52% of GPs showed reluctance to upload their private clinical records to the Database without eliciting their patients consent.

One of the campaigners, Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at Cambridge, observed that the NHS' plan of a data base is getting flagged of with severe opposition from the public. Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Conservative foreign secretary was present at the anti database campaign yesterday. The Tories are not officially linked up with this campaign protesting against setting up of data base. However, he voiced his support in opposing the government’s decision to set up data bases and to introduce identity cards.

Sir Malcolm opined that it has to be ensured that suitable safeguards are put in place to avoid potentia l abuse. So far there is no sound methods inculcated into the system, to avoid misuse of ID cards that may invite casual liberties that are dangerous.

Health department officials are not at all pleased with the criticism that has ensued. Its been a long time since they have been trying to implement this scheme. The government promises that there are adequate protective visors to safe guard against unauthorized access to the data base. The database will contain extremely private information and details of about 50 million people. Yet another obstacle cropped up for the NHS, when a magazine of GPs revealed that a security plan devised by the NHS agency in charge of the database programme, is not really safe as it may have chances to be tampered with and may cause private information to be seen by others as well.

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