Former health minister accused of publishing private medical information of critical doctor

Adam Niedzielski, who was the Minister of Health in the Law and Justice (PiS) government between 2020 and 2023, was charged by the prosecutor’s office in connection with sharing private medical information of a doctor who criticized the new regulations introduced by the minister.

If Niedzielski is found guilty, he will face up to three years in prison for abuse of power by publishing information, including: that the doctor prescribed psychiatric drugs.

“The proceedings concern the abuse of power by a public official in the person of the Minister of Health through unlawful processing of personal data regarding the health of an identified person by disclosing (data) via the mass media in an entry on the X website,” prosecutors in Warsaw announced.

By doing so, Niedzielski “(acted) to the detriment of the private interest of a private person,” they added, noting that the minister was notified of the suspicion of committing a crime, among others. Supreme Medical Chamber.

Niedzielski (who waived his right to anonymize his name and image) maintains his innocence. He told the RMF broadcaster that he would not speak publicly and was “calmly waiting for the end of the court case.”

Last August, Niedzielski posted on X (then known as Twitter) in which he responded to a doctor’s criticism of changes introduced by the Ministry of Health limiting doctors’ ability to issue digital prescriptions.

Niedzielski accused the doctor of “lying” to the media about the new system and noted that “the doctor wrote him a prescription for a psychotropic and painkiller yesterday.” He included the doctor’s full name in his tweet.

His actions were widely criticized by the medical and legal communities. Shortly thereafter, Niedzielski resigned as health minister, and in December, the health ministry was fined PLN 100,000 by the Polish Personal Data Protection Agency – the maximum possible penalty.

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Source of main photo: KRPM (based on CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 PL)