The Curmudgeon


Monday, July 06, 2009

Record Profits

Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, has a policy advisor called Steve Hilton. Steve Hilton is married to Rachel Whetstone. Rachel Whetstone is a senior executive at Google. By a remarkable coincidence, Daveybloke, the Cuddly Conservative, has just decided that people should use services like Google Health as a means of storing their own medical records and ensuring that there is sufficient freedom of information for the health of the pharmaceutical companies. Health industry consumers would be "given the option" of storing their records with private companies or utilising Brand X, much as people are now given the option of gambling on private pension schemes or working until they drop. Medicino-surgical customers would also be given a choice of provider, ensuring that no single company would have a monopoly; there is every reason to believe that this would work at least nearly as well as the wide choice of whimsically-priced rail service providers which has made our transport infrastructure the wondrous cure for melancholy it is today.

A spokesbeing for Daveybloke's Cuddly Conservatives would not discuss the idea in detail, because there are still one or two problems to be ironed out; for instance, "Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault systems would need to be adapted for them to work in Britain"; or, more likely, Britain would be adapted so that Google and Microsoft HealthVault could work here without tripping over any inconvenient consumer protection laws. Apparently Daveybloke believes that this arrangement would be an "alternative" to the NHS database. Presumably, then, Daveybloke intends to abolish the database, erasing all records kept on it so that those who submit their medical records to the tender mercies of Google and Microsoft may receive an equal standard of care to those who choose otherwise; or else Daveybloke intends to keep the database as a parallel system, so that the NHS may save the money spent on it by spending money on the database.


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