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South Slave

Client records may have been accessed at Hay River hospital


The Hay River Health and Social Services Authority says client information may have been accessed during a break-in at the town’s old hospital on Monday. 

According to a press release, early in the morning on June 21 there was a break and enter at H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital that was discovered by a staff member later in the day. A preliminary investigation showed client records may have been accessed during the incident and a vehicle from the health authority is now missing from the property.

The incident follows a previous break in at an unidentified Hay River facility on June 16, reported by Northern News Services. Last week, Hay River’s health authority issued a cryptic statement saying no client records were accessed or stolen in an unspecified incident at an unspecified location.

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“I want to reassure the community that we are taking these incidents very seriously,” Erin Griffiths, the authority’s chief executive said in a statement on Thursday. “We remain committed to protecting client information, and we are working closely with the RCMP to thoroughly investigate these incidents and we are taking immediate action to safeguard our clients’ information.” 

Griffiths said the authority will be directly contacting all clients who may have been impacted by the break-in. The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has also been notified.

The H.H. Williams Hospital is no longer used for medical treatment since the town’s health centre opened. The territorial government plans to demolish the building to make way for a long-term care facility.

In May 2020, the environmental health officer, social services, public health, and home care programs relocated from the basement of the hospital to the main floor of the building in response to roof leaks and ventilation issues.

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