French Doctors Speak Out Against New Contact Tracing
Pam Barker | Director of TLB Europe Reloaded Project
A somewhat emotional video from a young practicing physician on Youtube, republished below, alerted us to this topic of medical snooping by the French government in order to allegedly stop / control / monitor the chain of infection (and us). Overall, this practice may become the next reason why we shouldn’t be visiting our family doctor or the local hospital starting from tomorrow, May 11, when our two-month(!) lockdown officially ends.
So from tomorrow, the French family doctor (and the hospital doctor) will be the initiating person to identify a patient supposedly with covid, ask for the names and contact numbers of those people the patient has been in contact with (both within and without the immediate family), enter the information given into a centralized database, and do (unreliable) testing on the patient. At which point the non-medical staff of the French health insurance system will take over and send teams of people to test those contacts, hoping to find patient zero along the way. The initiating doctors themselves will get 55 euros instead of the regular fee of around 25 euros, plus 2 (or 4) extra euros for each contact name with a phone number.
The infection has likely been in France since at least October/November; confirmed cases were predicted to be going down around the time lockdowns were enforced in France (March 16) and the UK (March 23); Public Health England downgraded the severity of the disease on March 19. So is this all a case of a system and government justifying themselves to the public when, originally, they did absolutely nothing, telling us via the media that it was a Chinese problem? Likely the infection has been doing the rounds here for a while although it remains to be seen what kind of spike in cases will happen post-lockdown. Some government heads are expected to roll following the resumption of ‘normal’ life, so they must be anxious to be seen to be doing something. As well as finding a reason to implement Big Data surveillance systems on us.
The anonymous doctor below raises concerns about doctors being motivated to participate with a fee incentive; the reliability of the diagnostic tests (presumably the PCR test); confidentiality of a patient’s medical data by administrative, i.e. non-medical, staff; use and security of patient data entered in the system once it’s all finished; retaliation by people named as contacts who may be subject to confinement. And overall, the ethical problem of doctors turning in their patients to a bigger, data-driven system outside the normal bounds of doctor-patient relationship, as well as turning in names of people to the government who are not even their patients.
The doctor in the very short video below raises some additional points:
Covid is a notifiable disease so reporting these cases in and of itself isn’t a problem. (ER: It is in the UK, too, but should it be? Should covid, with a death rate comparable to ‘flu and mild or no symptoms in the majority of the population, be put in the class of diseases like cholera and TB?)
Yet a government bill is in the pipeline to create a new system of health data in the context of this crisis, without our input. Patient health information cannot be kept for more than a year, but it is likely to become a permanent system.
The national platform of patient data will be kept on Microsoft servers; the data will be drawn from hospitals, pharmacies, and patient files.
Will this result in health insurance costs going up for people? Will banks refuse loans to people? Will employers not re-hire people because their health data is accessible?
The young guy’s overall point below is – I’m a doctor, not a cop.
Philippe Jandrok’s Blog, 7 May 2020
Message from a Doctor Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous
ATTENTION! … TO BE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED! NEW DRAMATIC DIRECTION IN THE ONGOING MADNESS!… The total compromise of the SS in this so-called state of emergency, totally falsified and allowing all the most Orwellian excesses!
What I am reporting here is taken from a communication from the CGT Union of social security funds following a meeting with the national director of the fund, Mr. Nicola Revel, dated May 5, 2020.
It concerns the plan to mobilize the fund’s administrative employees (and not the fund’s medical personnel, who are supposed to be trained and protect the notion of medical secrecy!) to supposedly limit the spread of the post-lockdown virus.
It consists of the creation of a “brigade” (sic!) in the form of a telephone platform of 6,500 people at the national level, which they cynically call the “Guardian Angel Brigade” BAD (… Really, what a sense of humour!) supposed to carry out large-scale epidemic detection of the famous “contact cases,” identified by family doctors on the declaration of their Covid patients.
In order not to get rid of the increasingly invasive anglicisms, it is called “contact tracing”!
These agents will be employed 7 days a week, this by freezing their collective agreement, and with compulsory overtime, but not eligible for the scheme in question from 8am to 7pm .
I remind us all once again (we can never hammer it home enough) that the covid tests have no validity, with a positive predictive value between 30 and 50%, which means that one can be a carrier of the virus and negative on the test, just as one can be declared positive even without having contracted the virus!! It is, however, on this basis that the policing will be carried out with an insane stigmatization of anyone!
But in high places, it causes no remorse!
The “contact tracing,” in fact, is old-fashioned: the family doctor diagnoses an infected patient. He tests him with a virological test, takes care of him and organizes his confinement as well as that of his close entourage. 3,000 to 5,000 cases will be expected per day starting May 11th according to Santé Publique France.
The doctor registers his patient in Ameli Pro, with his consent within 24 hours.(ER: Ameli.fr is the website portal for all health insurers in France.)
He receives 55 €, plus 2 € per individual name (4 € with a phone number) entered in Ameli Pro, with whom the patient has been in contact, outside the rules of physical distance and protection.
(ER: From another report, the 55 euros includes the normal 25 euro family doctor consultation fee.)
Mr Revel considers that the professional secrecy to which the employees of the Sécu are bound is sufficient to guarantee data protection. No details are given on what will happen to the data collected on Ameli Pro after the crisis is over.
On the other hand, it is confirmed that its twin, the SITEP tool (operated by DGS/AP-HP/Santé Publique France) will (together with the results of serological tests carried out in laboratories) make it possible to carry out epidemiological studies under cover of anonymity. As the CNIL has not given its opinion on the nature of the files created, it will arrive after the battle. So much the worse, when it comes to health data, as well as labour law – it is a matter of urgency!
Behind Ameli Pro, the agents will take over from the doctor to contact the “contact cases” by telephone. Their mission will be to convince everyone to get masks from the pharmacy, do a laboratory test and go into isolation while waiting for the results, with a work stoppage as backup.
In addition to the research and the relationship with the “contact cases”, the colleagues will also issue work stoppages.
Unanticipated risks to patients zero :
Patients (“patient zero”) who are the source of the trace will have the right to have their identity withheld from individuals who will be identified and quarantined. But only if they ask their doctor not to check the “does not wish to be identified” box in Ameli Pro. There is a risk there.
If claiming to be a known person (ER: an ‘infected’ person?) can make it easier to quarantine a third party, it could lead to retaliatory measures. There are environments where “snitching” is a serious thing. You have to be aware of this reality when you’re doing population tracing.
I’ll stop here. It’s edifying enough for anyone who still has their common sense. Not to mention that if medical ethics still had any meaning that was not misused, all doctors would have to resist and oppose the implementation of such a nightmare. But hey, most of them have seen their incomes drastically reduced during this epidemic! Yes, they have! It’s strictly attested to! And so… A big increase in income after a famine, it can be tempting!!…
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”
― Thomas Paine, The Crisis