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Data Protection Commission

HIQA and Data Protection Commissioner sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Health Information and Quality Authority and the Data Protection Commissioner have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines how both state agencies will work together to ensure that people's health and social care personal information is protected and used appropriately.
The MoU, signed by Professor Jane Grimson, Director of Health Information, HIQA, and Billy Hawkes, Data Protection Commissioner, covers areas of common interest and where cooperation will lead to better informed regulation. It also clarifies that both agencies have jurisdiction over different areas of regulation.
Professor Jane Grimson said: "This Memorandum of Understanding is an important step forward for people who use health or social care services in Ireland. I look forward to HIQA working more closely with the office of the Data Protection Commissioner on areas of strategic and high-level operational interest."
"This MoU will enable closer collaboration between our two agencies with a view to ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of sensitive health information and that vital health information is available to healthcare professionals in order to deliver safe care. It will also ensure that personal information is fully protected when data is being collected and used by HIQA as part of our legal remit."
Billy Hawkes said: "Irish people attach particular importance to the confidentiality of medical data. HIQA and my office are both committed to promoting high standards of data protection in the health sector. Working together as regulators in accordance with this MoU we can better achieve this important objective."
As part of the agreement, HIQA and the DPC will undertake to communicate with each other as appropriate on all matters of strategic mutual and operational interest, on both a formal basis through scheduled meetings and informally on an ad hoc basis.
In the interest of personal security and privacy, this memorandum also facilitates co-operation on concerns where one organisation believes that it falls within the remit of the other and where there are concerns in relation to the protection and appropriate use of people's personal information.
A full copy of the Memorandum of Understanding is available here and www.hiqa.ie

Further Information:

For more information please contact:

Sinead Whooley, Communications Manager, HIQA, 01 814 7488 | 087 922 1941 | swhooley@hiqa.ie


Ciara O'Sullivan, Office of the Data Protection Commissioner, 057 868 4800 | media@dataprotection.ie

Notes to the Editor:

  • The Health Information and Quality Authority is the independent authority established to drive continuous improvements in Ireland's health and social care services. HIQA's mandate extends across the quality and safety of the public, private (within its social care function) and voluntary services. The Authority's remit also includes setting standards for health information, including information governance, and identifying gaps and deficiencies in health information.
  • The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is responsible for upholding the rights of individuals as set out in the Data Protection Acts and enforcing the obligations upon data controllers. The Commissioner is appointed by Government and is independent in the exercise of his or her functions. Individuals who feel their rights are being infringed can complain to the Commissioner, who will investigate the matter and take whatever steps may be necessary to resolve it.