Article by Solomon Israel, Leaf News
A proposed class-action lawsuit has been launched against Natural Health Services, a chain of medical cannabis clinics with locations in four provinces, including Manitoba, whose patients’ personal medical information was exposed in a digital data breach.
A letter sent to NHS clients in recent weeks says the company’s electronic medical record software was “accessed without authorization” sometime between Dec. 4, 2018, and Jan. 7. NHS said the breach didn’t expose any financial information, but did include identifying information such as names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as health-care numbers and medical information such as diagnoses and medical questionnaires.
NHS filed a police report about the breach Jan. 31, the letter says. It also filed reports with provincial privacy authorities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. The company says it has started its own internal investigation, and has worked to “improve the protection of patient personal health information.”
The breach affected the records of about 34,000 patients, said NHS parent company Sunniva Inc. in a news release.
“We have been working with privacy protection and law enforcement authorities to investigate and respond to this breach,” said NHS president Dr. Mark Kimmins in an emailed statement.
“The investigation is ongoing and we cannot comment further on it, or this litigation, other than to say that that we will be defending this action.”