The Department of Health are pressing ahead with plans to allow anyone who fancies it a quick butchers at your medical records, no questions asked.
‘We strongly believe,’ says a DoH representative, ‘that anyone with even a passing interest in medical matters should be able to have a good rummage through your notes. We feel that this is a vital measure because future gossip depends on it.’
Gossip fan Marjory says: ‘Oh I love the idea, there’s nothing quite like a nice cup of tea and a good bit of goss is there? D’ya remember when our Steven caught crabs? Believe you me that went round the sheltered housing like wild fire. Having someone’s medical file to flick through would just make those winter evenings fly by.’
And Marjory’s opinion isn’t alone. It’s backed up by something called science. Professor Candid, lead expert in chatty studies says: ‘People in the UK love to gossip because otherwise they’d just talk about how rainy it is. When we put subjects in a PET scanner and told them that their neighbour had chlamydia their whole brain lit up like a f**king Christmas tree, it was mental.’
The scheme has been given the green light to go ahead nationally but not everyone agrees: ‘I’ve had a funny looking penis for years,’ says one disgruntled patient, ‘and I really don’t want people in the office knowing about it. Having said that I’d like to know if Geoff from accounts really did go to Peru or if his career break was spent inside a mental hospital.’
Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen.