Immediate Investigation must be launched into latest Hospital data breach

01 May 2019

Senator Ged Nash said that the Data Protection Commissioner must launch “an immediate and urgent investigation” into the circumstances surrounding a serious data breach at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

The Drogheda Senator said:

“I was contacted yesterday by a local woman who found what appeared to be patient handover notes, dated 11 April. I immediately advised the woman to make contact with the hospital and an official was dispatched to retrieve the five pages of sensitive patient information.

“The detailed material included names, dates of birth, medical conditions, treatment regimen and other extremely delicate information of the most confidential nature imaginable.

“The patients concerned range across nearly all age groups and this episode represents an egregious violation of patient rights and privacy.

“This latest breach is utterly unacceptable. Patients and their families must be contacted urgently and met by senior officials.

“The Data Protection Commissioner must carry out an urgent investigation and the casual and dangerously irresponsible treatment of the most personal and sensitive of information by the health system needs to end, and end now.

“This is the not the first breach of this nature at the hospital and it seems that nothing has been learned a full year into the lifetime of the new GDPR legislation and the threat of administrative fines targeted at public bodies.”

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