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Crowe calls on minister to intervene in Tallaght Hospital data breach

4 August, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has called on Health Minister James Reilly to intervene to ensure that Tallaght Hospital reconsiders its policy of outsourcing transcription services in light of reports of a data breach of patient information and growing unemployment in the Tallaght area.

Deputy Crowe was speaking today after reports that the hospital will continue to outsource transcription services to the Philippines.

He said:

“Reports today that Tallaght Hospital will continue to outsource the transcription of medical consultation reports and letters to the Philippines is an affront to those whose private data was breached and also to those locally unemployed people who could easily be hired to do this job.

“I am calling on hospital chiefs at Tallaght Hospital to reconsider this policy of outsourcing transcription services. There is a major risk of identity theft and fraud of those people whose data is breached.

“I recently asked the Health Minister James Reilly to outline his policy on this contracting of clerical work outside of Ireland by some hospitals and the minister did not even acknowledge that it is an issue.

“This is simply not good enough. The minister must intervene to ensure the safety of patients’ private data.

“At a time of a major unemployment crisis the minister cannot allow this outsourcing to continue.” ENDS

Editor’s note: PQ from Deputy Seán Crowe is below for your information.

46. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Health his policy on the practice in some hospitals of contracting routine clerical work outside of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17909/11]
Minister for Health (Deputy James Reilly): It is not a matter of Government policy that hospitals or other health services contract clerical work outside of Ireland, as suggested by the Deputy. However, all bodies in receipt of public funding, not just in the health sector, must manage their resources in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible.
The Deputy will also be aware that the Government is also carrying out a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure. Under this review, it is committed to examining all aspects of public expenditure, with a view to ensuring that all resources are used in the optimum manner to deliver services to citizens.

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