04/19/2017 14:32 EDT | Updated 04/21/2017 12:45 EDT

Probes launched into Manitoba privacy breach after names of MRI patients leaked

WINNIPEG — Two probes are underway after the names of some high profile Manitobans who were allegedly fast-tracked for MRI scans became public.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has launched an investigation into the privacy breach and Manitoba's ombudsman is also conducting a review.

The investigations come after the Winnipeg Free Press published a story based on a leaked document which was part of the Auditor General's report into the management of MRI services.

The report contained the names of Manitobans who potentially received preferential MRI scans and noted patients with influence and those covered by private insurance may have been given higher priority to scans.

Auditor General Norm Ricard's report found some people — such as injured workers, professional athletes and government officials — are given faster service.

He didn't name those involved due to confidentiality and says he was mortified when he found out the document had been leaked.

Theresa Oswald, former health minister and current executive director of the Women’s Health Clinic, told CTV Winnipeg she found out her name was in the leaked document after receiving a call from a reporter.

"It was extremely jarring," she said. "One's personal health information is really the most intimate and private information that anyone can have.

"Today, it may be records of a diagnostic test for me, but as I lead the Women’s Health Clinic I can't help but wonder, tomorrow might it be somebody's decision to release information about our clients’ sexual and reproductive health?"

Oswald said at no time has she ever asked for preferential treatment for any kind of health care.

Ricard said the leak didn't come from the Office of the Auditor General.

"We know who had access to that information, and it's limited to two people who I trust implicitly," Ricard told CTV.

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said the source of the breach is not yet known.

Ombudsman Charlene Paquin said she was extremely concerned that the privacy of some people had been violated.

"We cannot presume that anyone accessing health care won't mind, or won't be negatively affected by, having their personal health information revealed without their consent or in another unauthorized way," she said in a release.

Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen has said the province is looking into whether some people were fast-tracked for non-medical reasons and said he was disappointed to see personal health information being reported in the media. (CTV Winnipeg, The Canadian Press)