Friday 15 February 2019

HSE to investigate alleged leak of patient's details after abortion at Dublin maternity hospital

Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/PA
Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/PA

Conor McCrave and Ian Begley

An investigation is under way into the alleged data leak concerning a patient who had an abortion at a Dublin hospital.

A young woman is alleged to have received a phone call from a man asking her to attend his clinic despite having already undergone a termination of pregnancy.

In an image of a text message she allegedly received which has been circulating online, the patient is directed to a blue shop on Berkeley road in Dublin which is located next to a respected family planning clinic.

Concerns have been raised as to how the girl's contact details came into this man’s possession and Health Minister Simon Harris has directed the HSE to investigate any potential data breaches.

A spokesperson said “the Minister is very concerned by the allegations raised on social media.

“He has asked the HSE to investigate the alleged breach of patient information.

“The Minister has been quite clear abortion services should be viewed as a normalised part of the health service  and women should not be subjected to any intimidation or harassment.”

A post on social media which was shared more than a thousand times claims "the lady has no idea how this man got her phone number. She reported to the guards & was told to just block the number.

"She rang the number back and the guy started screaming down the phone at her saying she was disgusting for what she did."

The HSE said in a statement: "The HSE takes any potential breach of confidential patient data very seriously and is establishing the facts surrounding this incident."

It also highlighted the HSE's My Options service - "a free unplanned pregnancy support service which is the first point of contact for support and information about an unplanned pregnancy".

It added: "My Options offers non-directive, free counselling and information for people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Information is available about all options, including continued pregnancy supports and abortion services.

"We are aware of a number of websites and ads that are appearing in search results and social media that claim to be providing unplanned pregnancy support services under variations of the myoptions name.

"MyOptions.ie is part of the HSE website, and the official myoptions helpline is 1800 828 010 for unplanned pregnancy information and support."

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