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Cyprus

New patient data protection is not enforced says commissioner

A May 2018 photo of the filing system at Limassol hospital

Without a digitisation of the health care system, the problem of lost patient files in hospital cannot be solved, data commissioner Irene Loizidou-Nicolaidou said on Friday.

She said the issue is a common occurrence in hospitals where the manual filing system creates additional problems.

“If the digital system is not applied, the loss of files will continue to exist. We, however, call for the principle of corrective action, such as the correct handling of files, so that some issues can be resolved.”

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) at an event focussing on the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in public hospitals which came into force in May, she said decisions regarding fines for breaking the new law have not been taken.

She said in the case of two complaints about files lost since the implementation of the law no fines were imposed.

She clarified that under existing regulations hospitals are fined if files go missing as it is the hospital’s responsibility to look after the documents, but the new system since GDPR has not been put in place.

There will be changes with the new regulation regarding the protection of patients’ personal data, deputy director of the medical services personnel Dia Voniatis said in statements to CNA.

The difference is that now nursing staff are responsible for processing the personal data and need to ensure that information is not leaked.

In the past, results were given to third parties without any controls on who was given what.

“Patients records were exposed and not protected at all,” she said.

 

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