But soon we will be paying in a different way, as the NHS intends to sell our records to firms willing to pay – insurers, employers etc – anyone who is willing to pay money for stuff we thought was private.
The NHS say that the data will have names and specific addresses stripped out. But anyone with a lot of health impairments should be concerned that their details will be discernible.
The NHS has managed to get all this data about us, because they wrote to us all asking us to sign up to their single records scheme, so that all your medical records – hospital, GP, dentist, etc – would be available to all medical practitioners. They said that doing this would mean that we would get better care, they did not say that it was for them to sell our information to companies who have no interest in our care and wellbeing.
And can we trust a future NHS which is likely to be at least partly privatised? Are organisations run entirely on the need to make profit the most trustworthy people to have control of our personal medical data, with all its profit-making potential?
We must let politicians know how we feel about this.
You have the chance to opt out. Its not simple, you must do it via your GP, but until safeguards are put into place, it is worth opting out rather than giving companies another way of discriminating against you