By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
ROYAL Bahamas Police Force investigators are expected in Grand Bahama today to investigate how confidential patient records were leaked from the Rand Memorial Hospital and disseminated on social media, Commissioner Paul Rolle told The Tribune yesterday.
This comes after an alleged confidential HIV/AIDS list, revealing dozens of names along with identifying information and addresses, was posted on social media over the weekend. While the majority of the alleged patients were residents in Grand Bahama, some were said to live on nearby islands and cays.
It is unclear whether this is a recently updated document. However, the year 2011 is written on the document and ages of the patients given at the time correspond to around that time.
While Commissioner Rolle would not go into further details this probe, the Public Hospitals Authority said in a statement Saturday it was assured the investigation would be swift and come with a “serious” outcome for anyone engaged in the leak and circulation of the document.
“The Public Hospitals Authority has launched a criminal investigation into the leak and dissemination on social media of a purported confidential document pertaining to clients of the Grand Bahama Health Services,” the statement said.
“The PHA has been assured that the matter which is now in the hands of the authorities will result in a swift and serious outcome for those who are engaged in the leak and circulation of this document.”
PHA went on to warn members of the public that patient health records are confidential and cannot be released without the consent of the patient, adding any breach of this privacy is punishable under the Data Protection (Privacy of Personal Information) Act.
“All persons found to have obtained unauthorised health information and forwarded this information, will be brought before the court,” PHA noted. “Persons who receive any and such information via email, WhatsApp or other media source are encouraged to delete not forward or share this information with other persons.”
PHA said Grand Bahama Health Services continues to maintain the strictest commitment to the privacy of its patients and the protection of their health information.