Patients' privacy may have been breached after the Southern Primary Health Organisation clinic in Invercargill was broken into.
Police are still investigating but The Southland Times believes two laptops and two hard drives containing patient records were stolen.
One hard drive is believed to contain the patient files of students who underwent the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) immunisation programme during 2011 and 2012.
The programme was launched in 34 schools throughout Southland but Southern PHO chief executive Ian Macara would not confirm how many patients might be affected.
Consent forms containing patient names, addresses, medical records and vaccination dates were not encrypted, meaning they could be copied by anyone.
Dr Macara believed thieves had no interest in the information, only in selling the hardware for cash. "We regret this unfortunate incident," he said.
The Southern PHO has set up a dedicated helpline for concerned parents and guardians to call. It is 0800 477 117
- © Fairfax NZ News
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.