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Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 5:50:00 PM
Wednesday October 30, 2013 MYT 5:55:41 PM
by maizatul nazlina
KUALA LUMPUR : A High Court here has ordered the director of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) and three others to pay a total of RM400,000 to a community leader for revealing his psychiatric medical records.
Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera instructed UKMMC and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) to pay RM200,000 in general damages, while Khairulnizam Nordin and Zulkefli Mohd Rusly were orederd to pay RM200,000 damages to Mohd Zairi Rasidi Abd Hadi, 36.
JC Vazeer ordered the four defendants to pay RM25,000 in costs.
He said he was satisfied that Mohd Zairi had proven his case against UKMMC, UKM, Khairulnizam, 32, and Zulkefli, 44.
Khairulnizam and Zulkefli had distributed documents containing the personal particulars and medical records of Mohd Zairi's treatment to the PPR Kampung Muhibbah II in Jalan Puchong residents, and also told them the documents showed he was a lunatic.
In his judgement, JC Vazeer said the UKMMC director and UKM owed a duty to ensure that patient's confidential medical information was safeguard and not disseminated in any unauthorised manner.
He said medical professionals and hospitals must take this duty of confidentiality very seriously.
"If not the bedrock of society's belief in the medical profession keeping confidential the patient's information safe from unauthorised disclosure would be shattered.
"Another disturbing feature of this case is the lackadaisical attitude of the UKMMC in investigating plaintiff's complaint when he first lodged," he said in his judgement Wednesday.
JC Vazeer said UKMMC did not seem to have taken the complaint as serious enough to warrant an immediate investigation into how the documents were printed from its records system and the person responsible for it.
"Breaches of such nature must be immediately investigated," he added.
He said UKMMC owed a duty of confidentiality to the plaintiff to ensure that his medical records were not revealed to any third party without his authorisation.
In his statement of claim filed on Nov 7 last year, Mohd Zairi named UKMMC, UKM, Khairulnizam and Zulkefli as defendants.
Mohd Zairi said he was active in voluntary works by the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) among others, he was the PPR Kampung Muhibbah II Rukun Tetangga chairman and Rela member for Cheras district.
He said due to his activities in the NGOs, he felt that he suffered from mental pressure (tension), stress and migraines from time to time and had registered with the hospital's psychiatric clinic as a patient.
Mohd Zairi claimed that at all material time his appointment with the doctors, treatment and medicine were reorded by the hospital and it could only be assessed UKMMC representatives.
In their defence, UKMMC and UKM said that they had never disclosed any personal information of the plaintiff to others and they had never allowed anyone including its staffs to provide details on the plaintiff to any party.
They said that after receiving letter of complaint from the plaintiff, they replied to the letter saying that they would carry out an investigation.
Tags / Keywords:
Courts, Crime, UKMMC, UKM, Leaked medical records
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