The Union had raised its concerns with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner as we believe that publication of payments represented a breach of privacy as recognised by law internationally and was made without the consent of the dentists concerned, according to chief executive, Mr Fintan Hourihan.
The publication of payments also presented a misleading impression when viewed in isolation and suggested dentists were earning inflated levels of income when in fact the payments were to cover the cost for treatments already dispensed. In addition the vast bulk of these payments relate to practice running costs, materials used and everyday overheads with the payment to dentists comprising a very small portion.
The HSE also failed to consider whether the publication on a single freely consultable website updated by name relating to all of the beneficiaries concerned went beyond what is necessary for achieving the HSE’s legitimate aims.
The Union made the complaint reflecting concerns raised by members who believed that publication represented an infringement of their privacy rights and therefore we welcome the decision of the HSE to cease publication of payments made by PCRS.