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Binder lost in 2018 at MCP Grand Falls-Windsor contained personal health info of 3,300 people

John Haggie, minister of health and community services.
John Haggie, minister of health and community services. - Barb Sweet

Department of Health not told until October

The Department of Health and Community Services revealed Thursday there was a privacy breach at the Medical Care Plan (MCP) office in Grand Falls-Windsor involving the loss of a binder containing the personal health information of about 3,300 individuals.

 The MCP office maintained the binder for tracking reimbursement applications to the Adult Dental Program, the department said in a news release. It contains names, MCP numbers, and partial addresses of people who made reimbursement applications to the Adult Dental Program between April 2015 and January 2018.

Department executive were advised on Oct. 23 that the binder has been missing since Jan. 25, 2018. A search was conducted, but the binder has not been located. The department is in the process of contacting people who may be affected, the release said.

In compliance with the Personal Health Information Act, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has been notified of the breach. Steps have been taken to update the claims tracking process and MCP now uses an electronic system with appropriate security features. Additional mandatory training is being provided to all staff that reiterates the importance of privacy protection, breach protocols, and information management best practices.

 “This is a matter I take very seriously. I apologize to those who may be impacted by this unfortunate incident. Those with whom we share our personal health information have a legal obligation to ensure it is treated with the utmost care," Health Minister John Haggie said in the release.

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