by Safiyia Stanfley – DA Northern Cape Constituency Head of Bo Karoo
Date: 28 November 2017
Type: Press Statement
The DA will report a serious breach of patient confidentiality that occurred at the Hanover clinic, to MEC of Health Lebogang Motlhaping.
The DA has learnt that unauthorised personnel at the Hanover clinic have been seen going through patient files. The DA is disappointed but not surprised by these allegations.
For at least the past four years, the provincial department has consistently reported that the filing and safe-keeping of patient information is of great concern due to the unavailability of storage facilities.
While the department itself has recommended that “facilities must look at processes of archiving old and unused files, as well as exploring a process of procuring an electronic data management system to ensure safe keeping of information”, they have not as yet taken action.
Patient confidentiality is one of the most important pillars of medicine. Medical records are particularly private, containing deeply personal details. They are intended to be shared between medical professionals and they are not for the prying eyes of snooping staff members.
Given the heavy burden of communicable diseases in the Northern Cape, we can ill afford to deter patients from seeking essential health care as a result of breeding distrust between patients and staff at facilities. Given the limited resources and capacity of our provincial health system, the department also cannot afford to lose patient records.
The DA will ask MEC Motlhaping to institute an urgent investigation into the matter. We also want him to tell us how the department plans to secure patient records at the Hanover clinic and all other facilities before a similar incident occurs again.
Patient privacy should under no circumstances be compromised and medical records must be kept in a safe and secure environment.
DA Northern Cape Constituency Head of Bo Karoo
084 919 4157
Shelley De Witt
082 847 1387