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NSW Health Data Leak Exposes Patient Records

Private information revealed

NSW Health Data Leak Exposes Patient Records Stock image

A major data leak has seen private health records exposed due to an error by the Department of Health.

According to news.com.au, one in 10 Australians' private health records have been released, which includes what medications patients are on and whether they are seeing a mental health professional.

The data was released from the Medicare Benefits Scheme and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in August last year.

However, it was supposed to be anonymised.

Instead, the patient data is easily traced back to the patient by linking the record with a date of birth or medical procedure.

The Department of Health has released a statement saying that they are taking the matter very seriously and have referred it to the Privacy Commissioner.

“The project was halted and remains halted, and the dataset was removed immediately,” a spokesperson from NSW Health told news.com.au.

“This matter dates back to 2016 and since then the Australian Government has taken further steps to protect and manage data.

“The Department is working with the University of Melbourne and has already acted to improve its processes.

“The Department has not been aware of anyone being identified.”

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