BRA should not have data on Barbadians' medical conditions

The idea of an officer of The Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) having access to the most intimate information of a person’s medical condition is wrong.

More so since the officer is a non-medical person not bound by patient confidentiality.

This is the belief of Barbados Labour Party St. Philip North candidate Dr. Sonia Browne, who says Barbados is too small a place for that practice - something which has come up for debate in light of claims that pharmacists are to provide BRA with patients' prescription for auditing purposes: 

“Presently, some patients do not even like their doctor to write their diagnoses on the NIS sick leave form. Some even refuse to send in insurance forms to claim the expense because they do not want anyone to know about their illnesses,” she claimed in a statement.

As a family physician, she says she sees the lengths to which some individuals go to hide their yeast infections, their use of vaginal creams for menopausal symptoms, or even the fact that they are being treated for herpes Type-1, the common cold sore, etc.

This type of intimate information she notes should not be lying around on a desk at the BRA as every Barbadians’ right to privacy of their medical condition can be violated, by such a practice.

“This can happen because in order to audit pharmacies to ensure they are paying adequate taxes, the Barbados Revenue Authority (BRA) wants the actual doctors’ prescriptions on patients which contain all the information on each patient."

She is calling on Government to recognize this since it is to her a serious moral issue and they must instead devise some strategy that would allow them to get their taxes without exposing an individual’s intimate business.

“This is just not fair to Barbadians! Peoples’ privacy must be protected at all costs. The Barbados Labour Party urges the Government to do the right thing by rethinking their tax collection strategy in this sensitive matter,” she insisted.

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