Political parties 'have access to hospital patient details'

Recent amendments to the General Elections Act are in conflict with the provisions of the Data Protection Act, Alternattiva Demokratika insisted today.

Deputy chairman Carmel Cacopardo said AD had had a meeting with the Chief Electoral Commissioner in view of the amendments to the General Elections Act. The amendments, he said, provided that state hospitals as well as old people’s homes were to submit regular updated list of patients and inmates to the political parties for the purposes of monitoring the electoral process.

Prof. Arnold Cassola, who was also present for the meeting said: "The provisions of these amendments actually allow the political parties not only to know who has been admitted to hospital on a daily basis for a whole two months, but also to indirectly know what particular condition or ailment inmates are suffering from. This is totally unacceptable in the democratic world".

Mr Cacopardo said that AD will be asking the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate the manner in which the electoral process will invade the privacy of patients in state hospitals through the list of patients being provided to the political parties. The Commissioner will be requested to provide remedies ensuring that the provisions of the Data Protection Act are observed.



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