04/26/2013 04:23 EDT | Updated 06/26/2013 05:12 EDT

Rita MacNeil Death: Cape Breton Health Authority Disputes Report On Singer's Death


SYDNEY, N.S. - The health authority that oversees hospitals in Cape Breton says a published report that suggests singer Rita MacNeil contracted a hospital-acquired infection days before her death is incorrect.

The Cape Breton District Health Authority issued a statement Friday saying it will formally follow-up with the Globe and Mail about the column.

"Without violating the patient’s privacy and confidentiality, the district can say that the patient did not have or die from a health care associated infection," it says.

The Globe and Mail did not immediately reply to a request for comment but on its website later Friday it acknowledged the district health authority's statement about MacNeil and said: "A Friday news column incorrectly said she contracted an infection in hospital after surgery."

The health authority said it had spoken with the family.

"They want to continue to keep the matter private and have asked the district to continue to respect patient privacy and confidentiality," says the statement.

The statement from the authority says the patient was mentioned in the column but it doesn't name MacNeil who died April 16 at the age of 68.

MacNeil's family declined comment through her publicist.

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