HSE cyberattack: People warned of "widespread cancellations"

Disruption from the cyberattack will continue to disrupt health services for some time, the HSE has warned.
HSE cyberattack: People warned of "widespread cancellations"

Digital Desk Staff

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is warning people to expect “widespread cancellations” of hospital appointments this week as the fallout from the cyberattack continues.

While some computer systems have been restored following the attack 10 days ago, the majority have not.

The loss of IT equipment is impacting emergency departments while hospital, community and screening services are still affected.

HSE chief operations officer Anne O'Connor said the disruption will continue for the foreseeable future.

“We're trying to still assess the impact of the attack, and then to restore some of our systems across the country," said Ms O'Connor.

“What this means is that we're going to continue to have widespread cancellations, particularly in relation to outpatients, and outpatient radiology.

“We expect many services to have cancellations next week; we know that it is going to be into next week and possibly weeks after that before some of these systems are restored.”

One hospital group is cancelling about 20,000 appointments due to the attack.

Tony Canavan, chief executive of the Saolta Group which manages seven hospitals in the west and north-west, said 10,000 appointments were cancelled last week.

He expects the same number of cancellations this week.

“All outpatient activity is cancelled, access to outpatient diagnostics is cancelled, a number of elective surgical procedures are cancelled, elective endoscopy is being cancelled unless the patient hears directly by phone from the hospital and that'll only happen in a very small number of cases.”

 

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