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HSE warns of “widespread cancellations” this week amid ongoing cyber disruption

The HSE has warned that people should expect “widespread cancellations” of health appointments this week amid the ongoing disruption caused by the cyber attack that rocked the health service, with one hospital group cancelling around 20,000 appointments over the incident.

While some computer systems have been repaired to operational status following the attack, which took place almost 2 weeks ago now, a majority of devices have not yet been restored.
This is reportedly impacting emergency departments and screening services in local communities, with the HSE’s chief operations officer Anna O’Connor saying that these disruptions will be continuing for the foreseeable future.

“We’re still trying to assess the impact of the attack, and then to restore some of our systems across the country,” she said.

“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 has cancelled around 20,000 appointments due to the attack, with another, the Saolta Group in the West of the country, has cancelled around 10,000.

The group’s chief executive, Tony Canavan, said that the same amount of cancellations are expected this week again.

“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,” he said.

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