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Third data breach in three years at Our Lady of Lourdes ‘unacceptable’ – Munster

6 February, 2018 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has raised the matter of a serious data breach which occurred in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda last week.

Deputy Munster raised the issue in the Dáil this morning and asked the Minister for Justice to address the current situation where public bodies are exempt from fines for data breaches.

Deputy Munster said:

“Last week, four pages of a consultant’s report were found on a street containing names, personal information about eighteen patients, including details of medical conditions and treatments.

“This is the third time that such a breach has occurred at Our Lady of Lourdes. The first in 2015 involved 44 patients, and a subsequent one in 2016 involved 13 patients.

“The HSE needs to meet these patients and explain what took place, and to apologise that their personal details were treated in such a careless manner.

“Bodies such as the HSE and Hospital Groups need to be held accountable for breaches of this type. It is not good enough that public bodies be exempt from fines for breaches of data protection.”

Minister Flanagan agreed that the matters raised by Deputy Munster are very serious and need to be debated in the Dáil at the earliest possible opportunity. He indicated that the Data Protection Bill 2018 would be introduced this week to allow debate on matters such as the breach of data protection at Our Lady of Lourdes’ Hospital last week. 

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