THEGAYUK

We Are Gay UK

COMMENT | The NHS is wrong to ask patient’s their sexuality

Doctors have been ordered to ask patients if they are gay. This is one of the most ludicrous decisions I feel the NHS has ever decided to make.

What is the point of GP’s having to record every patient’s sexuality? I really fail to see the point of this new rule and to me, I fear it’s building up to the UK becoming a nanny state.

It’s being called intrusive and Orwellian by many people. I agree. I’m very lucky, I’m an open gay man who is widely accepted by family, colleagues and friends. But what about those in denial about their sexuality? Or those who simply don’t feel comfortable in coming out yet? I’m scared it may actually do more harm than good.

I have deep fears about the security of the data, as any leak could potentially ‘out’ thousands of patients.

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Many visits to the GP are for everyday ailments, like tonsillitis, chest infections, aches and pains etc. So how is a doctor questioning their patient’s sexuality going to aid them in making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment? Quite frankly, none whatsoever. I’m no medical expert, but I’m sure antibiotics are the same for a straight person, a gay man or a bisexual woman.

Unless it’s related to your health, I believe that your sexuality is not the NHS’s business. The precious eight minutes you get with a GP is short enough, without taking up the time to ask unnecessary questions. You want medical advice from a doctor. Not your sexual preference being interrogated.

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So, from 2019, every patient over the age of 16 will be asked to state their sexuality. Is it really relevant to ask an 80-year-old grandfather if they’ve ever had a relationship with a man?

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I think this ludicrous, intrusive and damn right ridiculous question should be scrapped before it even begins. Doctors and the NHS are stretched enough as it is, without adding sexuality checks to their workload. Let them stick to what they do best. Medically treating and diagnosing patients. And this is something they do exceptionally well, without knowing a patient’s sexual orientation.

 

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you’d like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.

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Opinions expressed in this article may not reflect those of THEGAYUK, its management or editorial teams. If you'd like to comment or write a comment, opinion or blog piece, please click here.