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Police deny accessing medical files

The Bermuda Police Service has denied a claim that officers had accessed medical files seized from Ewart Brown's clinics.

A spokesman for the patients claimed on Monday that they were “shocked” to discover that “police were going through” seized files without the patients being notified.

She said: “Neither the police nor their lawyers bothered to inform us. This is nothing short of outrageous.

“We think this was deliberate to try to make our appeal to have our files back, worthless.”

The spokeswoman added: “Who can we trust if we cannot trust the Police Commissioner? Who can we trust if we cannot trust the Governor?”

Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police, said the Bermuda Police Service has acted strictly according to a court-ordered protocol, as agreed by lawyers for the clinics and the patients.

He said: “If the clinics and others are under a misunderstanding as to the position in relation to the protocol, their misunderstanding is not due to any fault of the BPS

“The BPS is fully observant to both the required undertakings in these matters and the sensitivities in respect of patient confidentiality.

“In this regard, examination of evidence is being facilitated by an independent overseas expert and the BPS has no access to the material within patient files.”

Police seized the health records of 265 patients from Dr Brown's two clinics in February 2017 as part of an investigation by police into allegations that the clinics ordered unneeded diagnostic imaging scans to boost profits.

Those files were sealed on the orders of a judge after civil proceedings were brought against the police by Mahesh Reddy, the medical director of Bermuda Healthcare Services, and the clinics.

A group of 150 patients, represented by Chancery Legal, were given permission to intervene in the case in November last year.

The patients sought to block access to their files by police and to have the medical records returned.

In February, the parties agreed on a protocol through which selected files of 75 patents would be uploaded to a secure server.

Under the protocol the server was to be set up and managed by the National Crime Agency in the UK and, once the files were uploaded, the BPS would have no further access.

Two independent doctors appointed by the BPS would have access to the files in order to prepare expert reports on whether patients were over-scanned.

But in a letter send by Dr Reddy to the patients at the Bermuda Healthcare Services and the Brown-Darrell Clinic which said “the BPS have undertaken not to access your files”.

On occasion The Royal Gazette may decide to not allow comments on a story that we deem might inflame sensitivities. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

Stephen Corbishley, the Commissioner of Police (File photograph)

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Published June 12, 2019 at 11:09 am (Updated June 12, 2019 at 11:09 am)

Police deny accessing medical files

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