Now, Doctors are right to complain that such disclosure is highly likely to make patients withhold vital information in consultation rooms for fear that it will eventually be used against them by people who have no context and no expertise to make any judgements whatsoever. Plenty of "authority", mind.
Imagine someone even TALKING to their GP about mental health, for example? That could render them unemployable. People will just clam up, with all manner of consequences. For the State this is but a mere bagatelle when compared to all the lovely information and that warm feeling they get knowing that the entire population realise that every word they say could come back to bite them in future at the whim of a bureaucrat.
However, what is a little irritating is that even if this information did NOT affect the consultations, the State still has absolutely NO GOD DAMN RIGHT to look at it. I am not their property. I am not chattel or some indentured servant. Doctors, by speaking about the impact of such information theft - for it is not "sharing" in the typical Socialist newspeak - they implicitly sanction the underlying right of that theft. It is like saying "don't steal the lead from the church roof because it will leak", focusing on the consequences of that particular action instead of the underlying illegality of any and all such actions.
It is an invitation to salami slice, an invitation to respond with an enormous bureaucracy and massive IT spend to "safeguard" the data. No, a flat rejection on the basis that the information does not belong to the State is the best way to deal with this. I am disappointed in the stance taken by the Medics on this occasion.
Now, the Statists, lickspittles and other useful idiots will blather on about "costs to the NHS" but remember, we have no choice but fund the NHS. It is a de facto monopoly. The great, the good and the ugly* (*politicians and quangocrats) can step outside the NHS and avoid all this, but most people cannot. This is why a State run system is wrong as not only does it tend towards a monopoly - and we all know what monopolies mean for the consumer of services - the State then begins to think it "pays for it" and so has the right to withdraw or worse, it is doing it out of the kindness of its heart and we all need to go cap-in-hand.
This is why two things must be done to reaffirm freedom and liberty.
a) Income Tax must be abolished - we are not cows to be milked and the State must not have first call on our earnings. While we have Income Tax, the State will continue to think we "owe" them or prove that we do not. Don't believe me? Witness the Passport systems being used to check "days out" in case we sneaky people are not living abroad enough. Checked into and out of the milking stalls like cattle.
b) The State monopolistic and Stalinist provision of Healthcare must end. Various options along the lines of a plurality of insurance providers, robust/firm/fair safety net and plurality of healthcare provision initially via independent not-for-profit Hospitals set free from the clutches of the PCTs may be a way forward. Smooth transition is as important, but not more important as the end goal.
Only the Libertarian Party proposes the above. All the other parties still want to own your arse.