Direct Democracy proposal for Health
Terminate and Cannibalise national medical records IT system
The former UK government commissioned the development of a digital database for all UK NHS patient's medical records and, the system is on-going under the new coalition.
The purpose of the database is to allow different sectors of the NHS to be able to access your medical records. This in itself is nothing new but, enabling access digitally and by remote is highly efficient and a lot faster and so the system has many benefits.
The problems that come with this is that the government wants to upload all records to a centralised database using an Intranet and this presents major security risks. In our belief, there is no way to 100% guarantee the protection of data on any network - no matter how secure, especially on a network such as an Intranet that actually uses the Internet for its infrastructure.
On this basis alone, we feel that our personal privacy even more vulnerable when governments mislead themselves and then the people and, we feel that complacency at government level with regards to digitised personal data is highly dangerous.
Approx. £6 BN was spent on linking only 13 hospitals [Ave. £1/2 BN per hospital] and this excludes the £3.6 BN spent on system installation. The system is late and is inundated with problems so much so, that the former government was even thinking of scrapping the project all together.
The total budget was estimated at £12 BN, so this leaves £2.4 BN remaining which allows for approx 7 more hospitals making for a total of 20 hospitals on the network [if within the budget]. There are more than 20 hospitals in the UK so it is obvious that it will not be a national system and it is obvious that there is massive under-budgeting.
We also believe that the former government's failure to really grasp the power, efficiencies, strengths and weaknesses of the Internet and its associated technologies, has led to failure and incompetence when negotiating contracts with IT firms.
Should the People's Administration install direct democracy, we propose to terminate further work on the system and to cannibalise what could be used in upgrading the system to what we believed should have always been at least the start point of such a project.
If the administration can not 100% guarantee the security of personal data, then it must be a personal choice as to whether one's medical records are included in the system in the first place. For those who do choose digitisation, their data will be treated in exactly the same way as it is now, but mirrored using digital protocols.
This means that where a medical record is currently stored on paper in one particular surgery, it will be transferred onto a digital record but this also will be physically stored at the same surgery. The computer that stores the records for its patients in any surgery will not be connected to any network making it 100% intrusion-secure. When a record needs transferring to another surgery or any other related NHS destination, it will be manually transferred from the storage computer to an on-line terminal where it can be sent via encryption.
To enhance security and efficiency, there will be no centralised database holding anyone's medical records.
Security systems running on the storage computer will ensure that in the event of theft and unauthorised log-on attempts, the hard drive will wipe itself of all data beyond retrieval during boot-up and, manual back-up systems will ensure that no data is lost.
As per current data protection laws, after data transfer from one office to another, data will be wiped from previous storage computers after a specified time period as it is will no longer be required.
Another advantage of having digitisation without a central database is that external organisations that require specific information relating to a patients record, can not access records without permission of the patient, as only the patient and the NHS will know of which office or surgery is currently holding the records.
In effect, we propose to abolish the idea of a centralised database in favour of a system of portable digital records. Even this system can not 100% guarantee the security of personal data but, we believe that this system would be far more secure, efficient, forward-thinking and democratic.
In our opinion, any plan that involves using [as David Cameron is suggesting] foreign-based corporates such as Microsoft or Google to host and manage such information, is abhorrent, completely unnecessary and, in conflict with supporting UK business interests and the UK economy.
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