Opinion – Japan pension system hacked; 1.25 million cases of personal data leaked – the Japan Times – John Gelmini

An interesting article from Dr Alf about hacking of data in Japan.

Are they as bad as the UK?

Given our past track record and propensity to outsource credit card call centre work to India ‘no’.

In the past decade, the UK has experienced the loss of briefcases and tens of thousands of memory sticks by sleepy and forgetful MOD officials on trains, Oliver Letwin throwing Ministerial briefing papers into public waste paper baskets, the theft of 3.5 million credit card records by an Indian call centre operative working for HSBC PLC, followed by the sale of those records to Indian organised criminals and gangsters.

This is not to forget the “loss” of police files during the time of Sir Robert Mark which enabled London gangsters to move to Mojacar in Spain without being arrested, the loss of NHS, HMRC and DWP files.

Worse than that is the fact that we have :

1) 7 million illegal immigrants in the country and the Home Office has no idea where they are

2) 19 Million spare NI numbers which can be bought for a few hundred pounds in sleazy public houses thus enabling people to have multiple identities and claim multiple sets of dole whilst working at the same time in a geographically contiguous area

When it comes to losing and mismanaging data and not controlling our borders, the Japanese are babes in arms and the UK is master of everything it surveys.

By the way, the risk of hacking into the UK’s public sector data bases is likely to increase with greater pressure on austerity.

John Gelmini

Opinion – NHS will clamp down on ‘rip off’ agency fees – Telegraph – John Chinery

The NHS intervention to reduce “rip off” fees by imposing ceiling prices would achieve market failure. Either no one is prepared to work – or only sub-standard workers can be mustered.

But here’s some real, practical things the NHS could do which would open up competition.

1/ Self Billing – providing a timesheet utility to the self employed where that person can produce invoices using a NHS system rather than the self-employed person having to maintain their own systems of billing and admin. The idea is this would be interoperable across all health facilities (hospitals, GPs etc)

2/ NHS to maintain a database of candidates including keyword skills, availability, as well as a database of health facilities and contacts and requirements. There would probably see resistance to this process from entrenched interests, but if the political will was there it could happen.

3/ Two-way interoperability to hospital calendars and scheduling systems. Many locum workers are already employees of the NHS. This feeds into the “availability” in idea 2. It therefore would remove the army of administrators and back office managers attempting to get people to work overtime via face-to-face at present.

4/ Alerts – SMS and email alerts using a database of keywords to notify subscribers about upcoming requirements. Hyperlink to accept the assignment feeding into the idea 2 and 3 above.

5/ Present the locum as a valid and high-profile career choice to medical schools and medical students, nurses and health practitioners. Currently it is seen as an option for those not good enough to get a proper job. Part of this would be to provide senior mentors to temporary, interim workers and loci, as well as a professional body and association. We have a “GP” as a general practitioner – maybe invent the “IP” – the interim practitioner?

John Chinery