Privacy blunders at the NSHA

June 10, 2019 at 3:53 pm

Progressive Conservative Health Critic Karla MacFarlane says the recent Nova Scotia Health Authority privacy breach should raise alarms as the Liberal government prepares to move to a One Person One Record system.

The NSHA sent a release today admitting that an employee’s email was compromised from an outside source, compromising the private health information of 2,841 patients.

“How can Nova Scotians have confidence in their government’s ability to protect their most personal information when breaches like this one happen?” MacFarlane asked. “The government needs to make big, immediate changes to restore faith in the province’s health information systems.”

Nova Scotia’s Privacy Commissioner published a report in August 2018 that stated, “[t]he DHW does not have an adequate or effective privacy breach investigation protocol in place to deal with breaches involving multi-user health information databases.”

The Auditor General also concluded significant risks to information technology management in his 2018 Performance Audit, saying “[g]iven the importance of information technology in the provision of health care, I hope elected officials and all Nova Scotians will hold government accountable to fix the problems.”

MacFarlane says she is concerned that this sloppiness will continue into the massive upcoming One Person One Record system.

“Now is the time for the Liberals to take a long look at how they handle the health information of Nova Scotians,” says MacFarlane. “This government is planning to implement the One Person One Record system and they can’t even be trusted with the information they have now.”

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Portal has been offline since March 2018, when a privacy breach resulted in the inappropriate download of over 7,000 documents.