Saskatchewan’s health minister replaces eHealth’s board of directors

Days after accepting a report into a privacy breach at eHealth, Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman announced a new board of directors. File / Global News

Saskatchewan’s health minister has appointed a new board of directors for eHealth.

Paul Merriman said the changes do not reflect a lack of confidence in the previous board.

Merriman made the change on Tuesday, days after accepting a report from the province’s privacy commissioner into a privacy breach at eHealth a year ago.

Read more: Saskatchewan eHealth ransomware attack called one of province’s largest privacy breaches

Ron Kruzeniski, Saskatchewan’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, said the cyberattack in late December 2019 and early January 2020 was one of the largest privacy breaches in the province. It affected more than 547,000 files containing personal information, including health records.

One of the 25 recommendations Kruzeniski made in his report was for the Ministry of Health to immediately commence an independent review into the governance, management and program operations at eHealth.

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Merriman said he has directed the new board to undertake that task.

“Our government takes the protection of personal health information seriously and we are greatly concerned by the findings and recommendations presented in Mr. Kruzeniski’s report,” Merriman said in a statement.

“As committed, we are taking immediate action to address and review the governance, management and program operations at eHealth to ensure the organization responsible for protecting health information is meeting the serious expectations of Saskatchewan citizens.”

Read more: Stolen Sask. health care data could fetch big money on dark web, expert says

The new board will be chaired by Denise Macza, the associate deputy minister at Health, with assistant deputy minister Billie-Jo Morrissette serving as vice-chair.

“I am confident that the new board appointments as an interim measure will provide closer oversight of eHealth by the Ministry of Health during the governance review,” Merriman said.

The new appointments take effect immediately.