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December 6, 2013

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Maternity hospital probed for data leaks

The Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday that it was investigating staff at Fengxian District Central Hospital, which reportedly sold personal information of pregnant women.

The commission said hospitals must protect patients’ privacy and it will reveal the results of investigation soon.

A woman who delivered a baby girl at the hospital in October called Shanghai Television after she was flooded with calls from people promoting baby products and insurance, including a telecom fraud that claimed to be from a government department offering birth subsidy.

“The ‘official’ asked me to deposit 3,000 yuan (US$484) in my bank card before availing of the subsidy,” said the woman surnamed Xu.

“I saw through the scam at once, but the caller knew my name and also told me the names of my husband and our hometown, my daughter’s name, her birth weight and the name of the hospital.

“How can he have all the details?” Xu asked.

“The hospital is the only one which had all the information and I suspect its staff leaked the information to these companies and swindlers,” she told STV.

An STV reporter went to the hospital, claimed to be from an information company and sought information about pregnant women.

A head nurse said “things have been a little tense recently after other provinces got into trouble for leaking pregnant women’s information.”

She said she would “discuss it with another head nurse” and  urged the undercover reporter not to act in haste and that “it was a long-term business.”

The hospital denied the accusations yesterday.



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