Monday, 31 August 2020

Government must explain privacy breaches


“The Government needs to explain how widespread the Health Ministry’s mishandling of private information is,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Patients who have undergone a Covid-19 swab have been receiving the results for other patients via text message.

“It seems the problem is so widespread that when you call the Health Ministry the first option on the automated system is to report receiving someone else’s results.

“Despite this seemingly being a widespread problem, neither the Minister nor the Deputy Director General of Health knew it was an issue at today’s 1pm briefing, even though we’ve been told this is the one place to find the truth.

“It’s inconceivable that the Minister hasn’t been briefed about this. There is nothing more serious than privacy when it comes to someone’s medical records. How can New Zealanders trust the Government when they’re being repeatedly let down?

“The Government’s repeated errors show why we need our response to be led by a multi-disciplinary Epidemic Response Unit based on the Taiwanese model.

“The Ministry of Health doesn’t have the ability to deliver the range of outputs necessary to fight a pandemic: PPE manufacturing and distribution, software development of a contact tracing app, testing, and managed isolation.

“An Epidemic Response Unit would bring together the best people from the public and private sectors and would have a transparent relationship with government, which would set policy targets for the Unit.

“New Zealanders deserve a clear, coordinated response to Covid-19, ACT is the only party with that plan.”