The UK Department of Health has apologized after the confidential details of over 1,000 junior doctors were made available to view on a medical training website.
The security breach meant that doctors’ private information, including home addresses, sexual orientation and previous convictions, could be accessed by the public for eight hours on a National Health Service (NHS) website. Once informed, the Department of Health had the website blocked within half an hour.
This is not the first time the NHS’ online system has hit trouble. Last year, the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS) was hacked into. Earlier this year, the website crashed as a result of doctors applying online simultaneously.
Dr Jo Hilborne, chairman of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee, commented, BMA has raised concerns about the security of the MTAS website on more than one occasion. The Department of Health had months to put it right and failed. There can be no excuse for this. Additionally, the Liberal Democrats have called for an investigation into the security flaw.