A file photo of Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar. Photo : Al-Ahram
In statements to the local news website Cairo 24, Abdel-Ghaffar said the leak occurred two months ago, stressing that the authorities will take all necessary measures to protect the privacy of patients.
The leak was first reported on 23 July by Falcon Feeds, a cyber security firm that tracks data breaches on the dark web.
The firm said the data was being sold on a website for $5,000.
The hacker presented a sample of data encompassing 1,000 patients on the hacker forum Popürler, asking interested potential buyers to contact him on the Telegram app.
The data includes the patients' names, national ID numbers, provinces, decision numbers, diagnoses, surgical interventions, and referral destinations related to the presidential initiative to end waiting lists from January 2019 to January 2023.
Launched in 2018, the presidential initiative to end waiting lists aims to allow Egyptians to receive urgent and critical surgeries as soon as possible at the state’s expense.
In May 2023, the health ministry announced that it had paid for 1.7 million surgeries since the launch of the initiative.