Manitoba

Dozens of patient records stolen from Winnipeg's Children's Hospital

The personal health information of 54 minors was stolen this week from a locked cabinet at the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg, Shared Health said Friday.

Personal information of 54 youths taken from locked cabinet in hospital's reception area

Shared Health says there is no need for families to take additional measures to protect the privacy of 54 youth whose medical records were involved in a theft from the Children's Hospital this week. (Martin Barraud/Getty Images)

The personal health information of 54 minors was stolen this week from a locked cabinet at the Children's Hospital in Winnipeg, the province's Shared Health agency said in a Friday news release.

The stolen records relate to two days' worth of scheduled surgical procedures for youths from Manitoba, Ontario and Nunavut.

The files were taken from a cabinet in the reception area of the Children's Hospital, which is on the Health Sciences Centre campus. 

The theft happened at some point between late evening Tuesday and early Wednesday morning, according to the release from Shared Health.

The provincial health organization is responsible for integrating and co-ordinating patient care across Manitoba, and is responsible for operations at HSC, including the Children's Hospital.

"The safety and security of our patients' personal information is a responsibility we take very seriously," Ronan Segrave, chief operating officer of the Health Sciences Centre, said in a news release.

"We are collaborating with Winnipeg Police Service to investigate this event and are reviewing our security procedures to determine any steps necessary to enhance how we protect and store patient-related information."

The information stolen included the names, medical record numbers, personal health identification numbers, and addresses and phone numbers of patients.

The files also had information about individuals' medical diagnoses and the names, phone numbers and addresses of their emergency contacts. 

The affected individuals will receive a letter from Shared Health's chief privacy officer to inform them of the breach. There is no indication thus far that patients will have to take further action to protect their medical information. 

Since the theft, Shared Health, which is conducting a review of the incident, has enacted new security measures to guard existing files.

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