Polish Physicians Suppressed Information on Daughter from Parents Because of Dread of Breaching GDPR

June 27, 2018


A father, Jozef Dmowski, of a Polish girl has made an accusation that physicians and rescue personnel declined to inform him of the place of his wounded daughter, after she was implicated in an accident, because of the fact that dreaded they would breach the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

His daughter was wounded when the school bus that she was journeying in was involved in an accident with a lorry near the town of Tenczyn in southern Poland. Mr. Dmowski says that doctors and emergency team workers declined to advise him which hospital she had been taken to.

He informed news correspondents: “Our daughter called us to say she was not badly wounded and that we should not bother. However soon after her phone’s battery died. We were attempting to reach the hospitals however, it was an extremely difficult job to obtain any information”.

A Polish government officer said, in a public declaration, it appeared the crisis team had made “a mistaken and inflated clarification of GDPR” and would make sure families were given access information concerning their loved ones in similar cases from now on.

There have been unofficial reports of hospital management groups deleting physicians’ names from their consulting room doors to evade patients’ diseases being unintentionally exposed in a violation of GDPR.

Maciej Kawecki, director of the Data Management Division at Poland’s Ministry of Digitization, got in touch with the affected parents to inform them that the occurrence would be submitted to the minister. He said: “I’m very regretful. I expect that everything is okay with your kid and I send compliments and desires for a swift recuperation. On behalf of the Ministry of Digitization, I guarantee you that I will give my maximum attention to make hospitals more caring to a more sensible tactic to the subject. Obviously, it cannot be that we get all the information concerning patients by phone, however, it is possible to use techniques that verify the caller as a parent.

“In a lot of events, the treating of such data is vindicated by the so-called safety of the crucial interests of people, as stated in the GDPR.”

The bus in which she was journeying had 42 pupils and three teachers on board when the mishap happened on one of the only main roads in a hilly region. The road was shut for a time period of 12 hours after the crash, causing huge traffic congestions.