What will be the penalty for HSA slip-up?

Given the computerised nature of information and the current mode of electronic data storage now, is it acceptable that our medical information can be so readily leaked time and time again within months (800,000 blood donors' data put online by HSA vendor, March 16)?

Will an expedient, heartfelt and remorseful statement from the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) director be enough to remedy the incompetence and neglect by its IT vendor?

Or is retributive punishment in order here?

Recently, a doctor was fined $50,000 when he revealed - in a moment of compassion - a patient's confidential medical condition to someone posing as her husband (NUH doc fined for sharing patient's info, March 7).

Just what pecuniary penalty is appropriate for an error exposing the sensitive biodata of 800,000 people in Singapore?

When the National Electronic Health Record goes online, there is a fear in some circles that there are going to be a lot more leaks, mostly unintentional and coming from non IT-savvy doctors.

What then?

Will a simple heartfelt apology cut it or will the authorities come down harshly on these doctors?

Let's see what precedence this current HSA case sets.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2019, with the headline 'What will be the penalty for HSA slip-up?'. Print Edition | Subscribe