Health department won't remove doctor for privacy breach
Dr. Fernando Rojas accessed 142 patient files at Georges Dumont hospital without authorization
Although New Brunswick's Department of Health says it could step in to remove the doctor involved in a privacy incident at Moncton's Georges Dumont hospital from his position, it has no plans to do so.
Last February, the Vitalité Health Network discovered radio oncologist Dr. Fernando Rojas accessed the files of 142 patients at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre without permission from two computers between Sept. 6, 2010 and Nov. 30, 2012.
Rojas continues to work at the hospital. His access to electronic files is limited and monitored.
CBC News discovered a pattern after speaking with a number of the affected patients.
The accessed files belonged to women in their early 20s and 30s who are either current or past employees at the hospital.
The files contained personal information such as address, date of birth, reasons for referrals, diagnosis, tests and results.
Connection to Rojas
One of the women whose information was accessed by Rojas told CBC News that when she spoke with Vitalité officials, they confirmed there definitely is a pattern involved in the type of files Rojas was accessing and there was nothing random about it.
She says she was told all of the files he looked at belonged to someone Rojas had a connection with, even if they only met on one occasion.
Vitalité and New Brunswick's privacy commissioner are investigating the situation. However, the health network says it must complete its own investigation before disciplinary action is taken.
The College of Physicians & Surgeons of New Brunswick grants and revokes medical licences, but at this point the college isn't involved in the case.
CBC News has spoken to several medical ethicists, including doctors and lawyers, about why Rojas would access the files without authorization.
They say all doctors are aware of a strict code of ethics that allows medical records to be accessed only with good reason and proper authorization.
The women CBC News has contacted about the situation continue to say the entire situation gives them a "creepy" feeling.