A 'Rats Out of the HSE' protest took place today outside the Department of Health's office in Dublin, following a leak of patient information.
The woman had legally obtained an abortion, but was then phoned and harassed by anti-abortion groups, according to TheJournal.ie
The protesters were calling for better protection of confidential patient information and for an external investigation to be launched after last week's data breaches.
Roughly 12 people took part in the protest at lunchtime, carrying placards and holding cut-out rat masks at Miesian Plaza.
A 'rats out of the HSE' protest is taking place outside the Dept Heath's offices on Baggot St. It's in the wake of claims a woman was phoned & harrasssed after obtaining a legal abortion at a Dublin hospital. pic.twitter.com/00szeucU0j
— Daragh Brophy (@DaraghBroph) February 4, 2019
A number of investigations were launched last week into the shocking claims.
A woman had an abortion at the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin, otherwise known as Holles Street, and was later verbally abused over the phone by a man who had somehow obtained her personal information.
On Friday, anti-abortion protesters stated that they were given information on when abortions were scheduled to occur at Our Lady Of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
Councillor Éilis Ryan of The Workers’ Party has said the HSE needed to clearly explain the steps it had taken to ensure that staff were providing abortion services in a trustworthy, fair and transparent manner.
We advise anyone looking for accurate information regarding unplanned pregnancy support to contact HSE sources.
HSE Free Phone: 1800 828 010
Please contact trusted sources listed above & be wary of rogue sites claiming to offer similar services. pic.twitter.com/GO5uUK7APw
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) February 2, 2019
"It doesn’t seem that any thought was put into how to change the culture of our hospitals to ensure people who might have anti-choice feelings themselves are not biased in how they carry out their healthcare provision”.
Her worry regarding the ability of our healthcare services to adapt without bias is felt by many.
Health Minister Simon Harris has admitted that an internal probe will take place, but “given the scale of scandals linking to the HSE in recent years we don’t feel that an internal investigation can be trusted or is sufficient”, according to Ryan.
She feels that Gabriel Scally is trustworthy, after he carried out the Cervical Check screening programme review.
Simon Harris said on Friday that it was “extraordinarily concerning and disturbing” that a patient’s details of her own abortion could possibly become public.
"The idea that anybody might leak a woman’s confidential information is reprehensible, it is grotesque, it’s disgusting and that is why I asked the HSE yesterday to investigate the matter and report back."
The HSE, the Dublin Well Woman Clinic, the National Maternity Hospital and the Data Protection Commissioner are apparently making inquiries regarding the apparent incident.
Cover image: Twitter/@michelledevane