Yesterday’s News & Observer had a short story on the U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin’s appearance in Durham to praise that city’s Durham Health Initiative Project (DHIP). DHIP is project between Duke Medicine and local government which attempts to map the health maladies of all of Durham — neighborhood by neighborhood –and then convince individuals to get care.
The News & Observer writes:
It’s a labor-intensive, expensive venture attempting to map the maladies of an entire city. Once organizers know, for example, where most Durham residents with hypertension live, they can funnel more prevention resources to doctors and health clinics in those neighborhoods.
“Our hope is that you’ll pass these people on the street and they’ll say, “Hey, how’s your blood pressure?” said Rob Califf, a Duke cardiologist helping lead the initiative.
I’m sorry, but this sounds slightly eerie to me. Citizens provide the government with health information; then the government tells citizens how to live. All in the name of efficiency and good intentions. My guess is many individuals will have no trouble finding reasons as to why there are no benefits to having their health needs “mapped”. Privacy and individual freedom will be two most popular reasons. If you love big government and have little regard for personal liberty and privacy, you’ll love DHIP.