Fianna Fáil TD for Longford / Westmeath Robert Troy is calling for the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to speed up the introduction of National Standards for Health Information Governance in order to protect patient records.
Speaking after the revelation that the records of patients who were treated at the Midland Regional Hospital in Mullingar were discarded and subsequently found in a bin outside Roscommon Hospital, Deputy Troy said, ‘This is a very serious matter and requires immediate attention.’
“I welcome the fact that the HSE has launched an investigation and that Data Protection Commission is separately looking at this incident. However, in light of recent developments concerning personal medical information in some hospitals being sent to private companies I believe it is appropriate that HIQA speed up the development of National Standards for Health Information Governance.
As it is planned HIQA is preparing standards that will cover:
• privacy and confidentiality
• information governance management
• data quality
• secondary use assurance
Deputy Troy said: “A person’s private medical records must remain private and patients must have confidence in how their information is handled by their hospital. There can be no justification for such sensitive material being mishandled or discarded in a way that exposes such information.
Deputy Troy concluded: “I am also calling on the Government to bring forward the Health Information Bill. The general scheme of this bill was approved by Fianna Fáil in government. The bill will provide a legislative framework for the governance of information in the health sector and should be brought before the Dáil as soon as possible. I will be raising this issue with my colleague Billy Kelleher, our Spokesperson on Health and the Minister for Health James Reilly.”