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New Patient Database: Cause of GPs Fear

A new poll reports that three out of every five GPs have fears that cyber-criminals and non-health employees would be able to access the patient's records stored in the Government's new NHS computer system worth £12 Billion. The newly installed system is known as 'Spine'.

According to a poll in November, 51% of the GPs and 65% (two-third) of the hospital doctors are of the view that storing the records of patients on a central database would let them to easily access the complete updated record of the clinical information. Spine will offer the doctors clinical benefits. So they would be able to decide in a better way about the patient's treatment.

But everything has its bad side too. The doctors are also concerned that making medical history of people accessible means opening it to abuse. Over 60% of the GPs in England are concerned that attackers and other official who are not permitted to see the medical records would be able to seize the details. Some are also concerned about the possible blackmail and bribery of health personnel to acquire health records.

Richard Granger, NHS IT chief, argued that Spine would be much secure than the existing system to keep the medical records. But more than 50% of the hospital doctors and 79% GPs disagree.

A spokesperson of 'Connecting for Health', the Government body behind this IT scheme (world's largest health computer project), confirmed that in a survey of around 1000 doctors, they found many doctors supporting it as possible to augment healthcare.

A spokesperson of British Medical Association said that they are with GPs in their concern. The association is worried as patients would not get all the required details to know about their records. So they are completely in favor of a system that asks for the patient's specific consent.

The Department of Health thinks that the system would be of immense benefit to most of the people, improve healthcare and prevent unnecessary deaths.

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