The data that will be shared will include some kind of emergency care records and patients' medication histories. The aim of the scheme is that if, for example, a UK citizen falls ill while in Spain, doctors there will know what medication the patient cannot take or what existing conditions they already have.As with all these sorts of proposals for databases and information sharing it is being pitched in isolation of the supposed benefits to be gained from it, however, as Ross Anderson, a Cambridge University security engineering professor points out,
"If you're somebody with information that should be known, at present you will carry either a bracelet or a card in your wallet to say so.... It is foolish to move to a computer for the simple reason that, if you have the information either on an online database or sitting on a smartcard, then the computer could be down. Human-readable information which you can carry is the most appropriate technology."Furthermore, there is a straight political argument within this proposals. Medical records are ours, they are not the state's, be it the nation state, or a supranational one.
The idea that different health care systems, some public, some private, some mixed, should be allowed to freely share medical data about theoretically potential users of their services is simply wrong.