Follow-up: Auckland district health board disciplined more than 30 staff members for snooping

Back in October, I noted a case involving staff at Auckland City Hospital improperly accessing and circulating the x-rays of a man who had an eel up his rectum.  Radio New Zealand has the follow-up:

A six month investigation has found 33 doctors, nurses and other staff breached the man’s privacy after he turned up at Auckland City Hospital’s emergency department last September with an eel trapped in his rectum.

Board chief executive Ailsa Claire said in some cases staff shared the records with others and may have leaked them to the media.

Not only are the findings disappointing, but the district health board’s reluctance to inform the public as to how staff were disciplined sends a very bad message — that they are putting personnel’s privacy over patient privacy. The public – as current or future patients – should be told how the DHB handled this so that they can be confident that egregious privacy breaches do not result in mere slaps on the wrist.

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