Skip to main content

Patient records of retired Sask. doctor found in dumpster


The Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner says a retired Prince Albert doctor needs to notify her former patients after piles of their former medical records were discovered in a dumpster.

Commissioner Ronald J. Kruzeniski says there were enough documents from the office of Dr. Lalita Malhotra to fill 55 or more banker boxes. They were dumped right into the bin instead of being shredded.

“When it’s placed in a public dumpster, I guess we never know who had the access to read it,” Kruzeniski said in an interview with CTV News.

Kruzeniski became aware of the situation in July, when an employee at Crown Shred and Recycling noticed medical records fell loose. Three staff members from the commissioner’s office went to the Prince Albert recycling facility to investigate.

“We gathered-up as much of the documents as we could, so at least nobody else could have access to them,” Kruzeniski said.

The documents were placed in unlocked dumpsters, and were not bagged or labelled, causing a serious risk to the patient’s private information, according to Kruzeniski. His staff reached out to Malhotra’s office.

“The receptionist confirmed that the medical office assistant (MOA), who they would not name, had been disposing patient medical records, but believed MOA took the records to where they would be shredded,” Kruzeniski wrote in his decision released on Dec.5.

“Dr. Malhotra explained that they normally use confidential shredding (one used with Pharmasave), but there was not enough room, so MOA and their partner disposed of the records in Greenland’s dumpsters thinking they would be shredded,” Kruzeniski wrote.

Kruzeniski said Malhotra should have provided more resources to dispose of the records and followed up with patients affected before the investigation took place.

“In the process of retiring there was a higher volume of documents, therefor a staff with her direction, or without her direction, basically took very inappropriate steps,” Kruzeniski told CTV News.

Kruzeniski recommended Malhotra make a public notice, contact patients and shred the records, or securely store those that can’t be destroyed, by Jan. 31, 2023. Top Stories

Stay Connected