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Saskatchewan Privacy Commissioner Questions Security of Health Records

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March 7, 2010- Gary Dickson, Privacy Commissioner of Saskatchewan, argues that more needs to be done to secure health records when doctors retire or die. By law the representative of the estate, often the widow or widower of the doctor, has the same legal responsibility to keep records locked in a secure facility. However, these individuals are often unfamiliar with the law and the records themselves, and this has led to repeated cases of abandoned records—a prime target for identity thieves.


"We've seen situations where a physician has retired or passed away, and the records have been left with his children, and patients have been trying to get access and have had a difficult time doing that," says LeRoy Brower, director of health information with the privacy commissioner's office. "We've had other situations where records have been abandoned by a health-care provider and we have been called by the landlord.”


“You can see why there's a need for quite a bit of clarification, clear rules."


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