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HOW FRENCH MADE THE MOVE SEVEN YEARS AGO; A pounds 2billion revolution as the nation's medical notes are switched to computers.

Byline: SARA NUWAR

A MEDICAL smart card system was first introduced in France seven years ago.

The card is retained by the patient and the information can only be accessed by an accredited person with a special device for reading it, which preserves confidentiality. It is said to be cheaper and more reliable than a national database.

Holland and Germany are now planning to follow suit. In the UK a person's medical files are held by their GP in an envelope. These are sent on when a person moves to another practice.

The wallet is crammed with details of past trips to the doctors, prescription details, hospital appointments and letters from specialists.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 27, 2004
Words:112
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