Two private medical files have been found on the streets of Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
One of the files was found beside Letterkenny University Hospital near a children’s play area yesterday, while the other file was retrieved on the Letterkenny High Road at the end of April.
Both files contain personal information such as names, medical history and letters to the patient’s GP.
Donegal County Councillor Gerry Mc Monagle (SF) said the community needs answers on how these files went missing from the hospital.
“The files were found in Bernard Mc Glinchy Public Park by a family out walking. They contained the medical history of a woman from Convoy, Co. donegal.
“We are looking for the hospital to begin an investigation into how this could have happened, what procedures are in place to secure files, move them and keep them private.
“I will be raising these questions at the next Northwest Regional Health Forum meeting in a fortnight.
“It is not a one off. I have heard on one or two other occasions that files were accidentally thrown out with the rubbish,” Cllr McMonagle claimed.
“I think it is time for them to review their security and other procedures in place to ensure the files remain safe and private.
The files found at the children’s park have since been returned to the hospital, the communications department of the hospital group, Saolta said they are investigating the breach.
“Letterkenny University Hospital will be fully investigating this incident to establish how it occurred,” a spokesperson said.
A spokesperson from the HSE said that all information leaks were taken seriously and will be looked into.
“The HSE takes all breaches of Data Protection seriously and all such cases are managed in line with data protection legislation and HSE policy.”