Former Healthcare Worker Fined, Banned from Accessing Health Information

October 9, 2019

A former billing clerk with Alberta Health Services (AHS) was fined $8,000 and sentenced to one year of probation with conditions after pleading guilty in Red Deer Provincial Court to knowingly accessing health information in contravention of the Health Information Act (HIA) on September 30, 2019.

Amarish Tripathi admitted to improperly accessing the health records of 81 individuals on 471 occasions. The unauthorized accesses occurred at the Michener Centre in Red Deer where he had been employed. The conditions on his probation include attending treatment and counselling as directed and to not be employed in a position that gives him access to health information for one year.

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) opened an offence investigation into Mr. Tripathi’s unauthorized accesses of health information after AHS reported the breaches in May 2018. Upon conclusion of its investigation, the OIPC referred findings to the Specialized Prosecutions Branch of Alberta Justice. Charges were laid in June 2019.

It is an offence under HIA to knowingly gain or attempt to gain access to health information in contravention of the Act (section 107(2)(b)). This was the fourth such conviction in 2019.

There have been 13 convictions in total for unauthorized access to health information under HIA since 2001. This was the second case in which one of the conditions was for the convicted not to access health information for one year.