11/21/2012 03:16 EST | Updated 01/21/2013 05:12 EST

Manitoba getting tough on health-care workers who dip into personal records

WINNIPEG - Manitoba health-care workers could soon face fines if they get caught snooping into patient records without being authorized.

The NDP government has introduced a bill that would forbid anyone from looking at personal health records unless required for work.

The current Personal Health Information Act say people are only penalized if they divulge any information.

The provincial ombudsman urged the government earlier this year to strengthen the law to ban unauthorized access.

His suggestion came after a Winnipeg health-care worker pulled the health records of a neighbour.

Health Minister Theresa Oswald says there will also be penalties for falsifying records.

Similar laws exist in Alberta, New Brunswick and other provinces.