After a meeting on June 28, 2016, a physician employed by Vitalité Health Authority was relieved of his duties after it was discovered that a serious breach of privacy involving the sensitive and personal medical files of nearly 150 female patients had occurred.
The unauthorized viewing of the patients’ health information by Dr. Fernando Rojas Lievano, which took place over a period of two years starting in 2010, constituted a major breach of confidential medical and health records and, as a result of his inappropriate actions, Dr. Rojas was terminated.
Dr. Rojas was a radiation oncologist at the Dr. Georges L. Dumont Hospital in Moncton and, without proper authorization or necessity, he was found to have accessed numerous files containing the sensitive health information of patients of the hospital. By illegally and unlawfully accessing the records, Dr. Rojas was in violation of the ethics of the Canadian Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, said the Vitalité Health Authority.
It has been learned that 141 females, all under the age of 40 and some as young as 13 years old, had their personal data breached. Most of these females were known to Dr. Rojas, either through their employment at the Dumont Hospital or in the course of their employment as servers at an establishment that he frequented. The women who had their files breached were not patients of Dr. Fernando Rojas Lievano.
Dr. Rojas explained to the New Brunswick Privacy Commissioner in 2014 that he was viewing the personal medical information of these women for reasons of “personal interest” and to determine “their age”. The Privacy Commissioner in a report from July 2014 recommended that criminal charges be filed and disciplinary measures be taken due to the scale of the breach. An RCMP investigation was then undertaken, however in March 2015 it was revealed that charges would not be recommended.
When the indication of the privacy breach was first discovered in 2014, Dr. Rojas was placed on leave. However, a year and a half later, in December 2015 he was rehired by the directors of Vitalité. The Health Authority began notifying the women whose records were unlawfully accessed advising that Dr. Rojas viewed not only sensitive and personal medical information, but also obtained their address and vital statistics. Some patients’ records were unlawfully viewed on multiple occasions by Dr. Rojas.
Wagners are presently involved in class actions concerning the breach of private medical information by hospital personnel who had no reason or authority to view sensitive and personal health data. Our firm has experience in assisting patients affected by the egregious conduct of medical personnel who access private medical records and files inappropriately.
If you or a loved one are one of the patients at the Dr. Georges L. Dumont Hospital in Moncton, New Brunswick whose confidential health information has been breached by the actions of Dr. Fernando Rojas Lievano, we invite you to contact Wagners for assistance and to discuss the breach of your medical information.