Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has emphasised the ‘huge opportunity’ he sees for plans to share digital NHS patient health records with private companies.
Hunt also acknowledged there is a global shortage of two million doctors and admitted “we need to train more in the UK,” but he did not mention a report this week that the government had ordered UK universities to train fewer doctors.
Hunt (pictured) was speaking after delivering a speech on growing the economy through the technology sector at Bloomberg’s European headquarters in London.
Questioned by NHS surgeon and Proximie co-founder Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram, Hunt said expanding the use of digital healthcare technology was important for increasing treatment.
“We are not going to close that gap unless we embrace the opportunities of technology,” he said.
“Both to help people work more efficiently administratively, so surgeons don’t find that they have an empty operating table because the patient hasn’t arrived.
“But also because technology has a huge role in prevention and stopping people needing to go to hospital in the first place – so I think there’s a huge opportunity.”
And he added further motivation to share NHS patient health records with private companies.
“I also think there’s a huge opportunity here in the UK because, despite the pressures we see daily in the NHS, we happen to have the world’s best digital health record for 50 million people and if we can use that in a way that allows information to be shared, allows research to happen we can offer something that just can’t be offered by other countries,” he concluded.