GPs warned of delays as hack hits health systems

Most services at Cavan General Hospital will continue as scheduled tomorrow, Monday, May 17.

Local GPs in the Cavan and Monaghan areas have been advised to expect delays in lab results after a ransomware attack on the HSE’s IT systems force a nationwide shutdown of integrated computer systems.

Only “critical samples” can be accepted, Monaghan-based GP Illona Duffy tweeted.

“Patients need to be prepared for delays in having bloods taken and we therefore ask for their patience,” she added.

The cyber attack on the HSE’s IT systems is now entering its third full day.

The shutdown of systems have been carried out as a precaution, causing some disruption to a range of services. Most healthcare appointments will go ahead as planned, but x-ray appointments are severely affected.

There are cancellations across all outpatient services with widespread cancellation of radiology services. Hospitals are working to contact their patients.

Chemotherapy and dialysis services are continuing as normal.

In Cavan, emergency and essential Inpatient, day care, and outpatient services are currently operating as normal.

Most services will continue as scheduled on Monday, May 17.

Outpatient appointments in diagnostic imaging will not go ahead. Appointments for these patients will be rescheduled.

For patients that may have an appointment on Monday or Tuesday, May 17-18 that needs to be rescheduled, the hospital will contact you directly.

Emergency departments (EDs) are still open and are here to help in all medical emergencies.

Contact tracing for Covid meanwhile is still operating as usual but it may take longer than usual.

It was revealed earlier today that a similar ransomware attack to that on the Health Service Executive was attempted at the Department of Health.

As a result the Department of Health has also shut down its systems. It is also working to safely restore its data.

In a statement the Department confirmed that late last week it was subject to a ransomware attack. They too have been working to respond to the incident since Thursday.

"We continue to assess the impact across all our systems and our focus is on protecting our data," the statement said.

The National Cyber Security Centre, along with the gardaí and the Defence Forces, are investigating the attacks.

They are also working with Europol and believe the attack has been carried out by a international criminal gang of hackers.

Digital footprints gleaned from the malware and inserted by the criminal group into the Department and the HSE systems have been sent for analysis in the Hague.

The Department of Social Protection meanwhile has temporarily suspended a number of electronic communication channels with the HSE becoming one of a number of systems forced to take actions as a periphery following the hack.

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