HomeAustraliaParamedics' drug and alcohol history exposed in Victoria data breach

Paramedics’ drug and alcohol history exposed in Victoria data breach

Drug and alcohol tests of Victorian graduate paramedics were accessible for all staff to view on victory ambulance Intranet of (AV).

A spokesperson for Ambulance Victoria said the exposed data was captured between May 2017 and October 2018.

Ambulances lined up outside the Sunshine Hospital in Melbourne. (Jason South)

“Since becoming aware, AV has removed access to these documents and has conducted an access audit to these documents,” the spokesperson said.

“The documents were not directly accessible to anyone outside of the organization.

“We take privacy very seriously and recognize the distress this can cause.

“Those affected are being notified and welfare support will be provided.”

Personal information affects both Ambulance Victoria employees and potential employees.

The documents were not publicly available to anyone outside of Ambulance Victoria, but the 4,000 staff had access to the results from their colleagues.

Victoria Ambulance Union secretary Danny Hill said hundreds of paramedics had their data exposed.

“We had a member come across this by chance,” he told 3AW.

“Absolutely, I think there will be legal ramifications…it’s just a massive systemic violation of the most basic aspects of privacy.”

Hill said the gap would make paramedics afraid to seek help for drug and alcohol problems.

“What you want is a system where people feel comfortable going to their employer and saying, ‘I need help,'” he said.

“It drives the problem underground because they can’t trust their service.”

The union has demanded a full audit of whoever accessed that information.

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