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Winnipeg doctor’s stolen laptop held info on hundreds of patients

File image. Winnipeg health officials are blaming a lapse in security for the theft of a computer containing confidential records from hundreds of patients.
File image. Winnipeg health officials are blaming a lapse in security for the theft of a computer containing confidential records from hundreds of patients. AP

WINNIPEG – Winnipeg health officials are blaming a lapse in security for the theft of a computer containing the confidential records of hundreds of patients.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority announced Friday that a doctor’s laptop was stolen “recently” from an office at Health Sciences Centre.

It contained records of consultations with 322 patients of the hepatology department, which treats liver disease.

All the patients have been advised by letter of the privacy breach, and Winnipeg police were called in to investigate.

But the WRHA said it’s conducting its own investigation “to determine exactly how and why certain security measures do not appear to have been followed in this case,” WHRA vice-president and CEO Real Cloutier said in a news release.

“We can appreciate how unsettling this must be for patients,” Cloutier said. “We are deeply sorry, and want to assure patients and the public we are looking at every option possible to get the laptop back.”

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The province’s ombudsman has also been advised of the privacy breach.