Files recovered in Fort Simpson health records breach

An aerial shot of Fort Simpson. (Supplied by the GNWT.)
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The medical records that were alleged to have been found at Fort Simpson’s dump have been handed over to the police.

A local man who found the files a month back, worked with CBC news to publish a detailed report on how the medical records that were found dated back to the 1990s and were just left abandoned at the landfill.

The individual turned the documents over to the RCMP and the files were transported to Yellowknife immediately where the RCMP turned the files over to the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

The IPC was notified by the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority after they were made aware of the potential breach of health records. The IPC then initiated a review under the Health Information Act and has secured the return of the documents.

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Sue Cullen, CEO of the NTHSSA said it will work with the IPC to determine who may be impacted and to begin reaching out to those affected by the breach.

“This is a disturbing and evolving situation. Now that files are in secure possession, we will be working hard to identify their source, understand how this situation developed and take all action necessary to notify individuals whose private information has been breached.”

In a statement, the NTHSSA said they’ve been diligently working to identify possible sources of these files and to confirm that secure file practices are in place in the Fort Simpson area. They will also be working to investigate the cause of this incident focusing on accountability, policy, and processes to ensure they can prevent further breaches.

Lastly, Cullen noted that the NTHSSA will commit to providing the public with updates as more information becomes available regarding what has happened and its plan for addressing it.

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