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An Invercargill GP has been cleared of breaching a careworker's privacy by disclosing personal information to her employer.

Dr Robert Henderson appeared before the Human Rights Review Tribunal last year to defend claims that in 2003 he violated the woman's privacy by telling her employer, a Southland resthome, she was on the methadone programme, exhibited drug-seeking behaviour and had criminal convictions for drug-related offences, the Southland Times reported.

He believed the woman could have jeopardised patient safety by denying them medication.

The woman denied she had access to medicine and said the revelation caused her embarrassment.

In a majority decision, the tribunal found Dr Henderson had reasonable grounds to believe there was a serious and imminent threat to resthome patients.

The names of the woman and resthome were suppressed.