Complaints made to the health service inspectorate about medical mistakes should be made public, but anonymously, according to patients’ rights lobby group NPCF.
The organisation was responding to the news that a list of medical errors made by doctors and care institutions had been leaked to RTL news. The patient group has urged the broadcaster to make sure names are not revealed.
‘It is extremely serious that such information has come into the hands of RTL,’ the federation’s director Wilna Wind told Radio 1. Nevertheless, it is time for a change in policy at the health inspectorate and it is time for more openness about errors, she said.
The list, with around 1,000 cases, ranges from sexual abuse, neglected elderly, operating theatre errors and major mistakes by health service personnel. In more than 700 cases, the name or date of birth of the patient is included, RTL said.
The health inspectorate has made a formal complaint about the leak to the police. RTL has declined to say how the list came into its hands but said it does raise serious questions about the security of confidential information held by the inspectorate.
Health minister Edith Schippers has described the leak as ‘unacceptable’
Not an isolated incident
There have been a number of scandals involving the leak of patient information over the past year. Last April, a leak in internet security enabled a television reporter to gain access to the medical records of 300,000 people held on a computer system for company doctors.
Also in April, confidential medical records belonging to thousands of people in Brabant were found to be easily accessible on a website for medical professionals.
And in October it emerged medical and personal details of hundreds of thousands of patients of the Groene Hart hospital in Gouda were publicly available for years because of a badly protected computer
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