WATCH: Saanich man outraged after his confidential medical records and those of five others are sent to a total stranger. Tess van Straaten reports.
It took Manjeet Manhas three months to get his medical records.
“I didn’t think I would get them this way, through a stranger in Nanaimo,” an outraged Manhas says.
The Saanich man had requested his records from MedRecords, a Vancouver company tasked with keeping them safe after his doctor retired last year.
Instead, the father of two received a call on Monday from a total stranger in Nanaimo who has been sent Manhas’ records, records for his youngest son, and those of four other people by mistake.
“I was shocked, I was in disbelief and I was skeptical this gentleman was telling me he had all of my personal health records,” Manhas says. “This is a serious breach of confidentiality ? the stuff you talk to your doctor about over a lifetime and somebody else has those records!”
MedRecords says the mistake was actually caught during quality control but human error led to it being sent out.
“The CD was identified and removed out of the system however during the shipping process an employee got confused and shipped out the wrong CD and destroyed the correct CD,” says MedRecords founder and CEO Aiden Fernandes.
The company is apologetic and says steps have already been taken to make sure it never happens again.
“We take the privacy of our clients very seriously and regret this incident and apologize to all the patients involved,” Fernandes says.
The case has been forwarded to B.C.’s information and privacy commissioner, who receives about 200 breach notifications a year.
Only a fraction of those, around five per cent, are medical breaches but officials fear that number is likely higher given there’s no mandatory reporting requirement in British Columbia.
“It’s a serious concern because medical information is the most sensitive personal information that public bodies and organizations collect about individuals so it can have serious consequences,” deputy privacy commissioner Jay Fedorak says.
As for Manjeet Manhas, he says he contacted MedRecords on Monday to advise them of the breach and is still waiting for a callback.
Manhas says he feels violated and still doesn’t know where the medical records are for his other family members.