07/25/2012 08:58 EDT | Updated 09/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Newfoundland's largest health board reports privacy breach for 122 patients

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The privacy of 122 patients in Newfoundland and Labrador has been breached, the province's largest health board said Wednesday.

Eastern Health said one of its employees inappropriately accessed their medical records. That employee has been fired.

"I want to publicly apologize to all of the patients whose privacy has been breached," Eastern Health CEO Vickie Kaminski said in a statement.

"It is quite disheartening when these breaches occur. However, it is my belief that the majority of employees take privacy and confidentiality very seriously."

The health board said it is contacting the patients involved and the province's privacy commissioner has been informed of the breach.

This is the second time this year that Eastern Health has reported a privacy breach.

In March, three urine samples and eight vials of blood with patient names on them were discovered near a busy St. John's road. Eastern Health said the biomedical waste originated from the emergency department of the Health Sciences Centre and was inappropriately disposed of in regular garbage that was sent to a landfill.