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Ambulance patient data stolen


Data containing personal information on 32,000 South Australian ambulance dispatches in the early 2000s has been stolen, the ambulance service reports.

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The South Australian Ambulance Service said the data – stolen earlier this year – includes the names, date of birth, medical condition and “other information pertaining to the dispatch incident”, with around 28,000 people impacted by the theft.

The data relates to ambulance dispatches between 2000 and 2003.

The SAAS says the information was stolen from an external consultancy firm which was given the data in 2003 and 2004 to model the impact of federal private health insurance reforms on the state’s ambulance service.

The period the data covers was before the ambulance service was part of the state government.

Photo: Nat Rogers/InDailySA Police have completed an investigation into the theft, according to the SAAS.

SA Ambulance Executive Director of Corporate Services Robert Cox said the service was reviewing is procedures for data sharing and disposal and “want to assure the community that they are robust”.

“We apologise to those impacted and have taken urgent action to minimise the risk and to get in touch directly with the affected individuals,” he said.

“While we understand that the information stolen is of sensitive nature, there is no evidence to date to suggest the data has been used inappropriately”.

Cox urged anyone with concerns to contact the SAAS information line, with the ambulance service now contacting those affected and offering counselling and support services.

The SAAS says the breach has been reported to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and the Privacy Committee of SA.

The latest data breach comes after more than 2000 MySA Gov accounts with registration and licensing information were accessed by hackers last week.

That breach came due to hackers successfully accessing account data in an attack on an unrelated site, according to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

Affected users were urged to change their driver’s license number.

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