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18 Mar 2019
Ministry of Health
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Data breach of blood donors

More than 800,000 blood donors personal information were improperly put online by a Health Science Authority (HSA) vendor for over 2 months. Although HSA was not directly at fault, it cannot completely absolve itself from it.

This is the latest in a series of MOH's personal data breach. 

With weak senior people in charge at MOH, citizens should not expect the latest blood donors personal information leak incident to be the last. I don't know if we have learnt by now, but there are costly prices to be paid when weak people are in charge of things like in MOH.

Given that it was blood donors who were involved this time, it led me to another thoughts. 

In Singapore, members of the public do not sell their blood to the Blood Bank. Instead, they donate blood to be used on other patients at both public and private hospitals. In this regard, I would appreciate it if MOH can clarify if these donated blood:

i) are used on citizens, foreigners or even medical tourists; and
ii) whether they are cost-free, charged at cost or charged at a profit

I totally accept that profit is not a dirty word because if it is, Singapore would have been dead a very long time ago. 

However, I feel that the whole blood donation practice in Singapore must be more transparent and lesser at tugging at the heartstrings of donors and bordering on the charitable nature of many of the donors. 

All donors in Singapore must be 100% clear that their blood that they willingly donate are either used to save lives at cost-free to the patients or use to save lives. 

Simon Lim



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