Attack 'limits' services Cork University Hospital can provide

The hospital said its labs will be 'severely affected' and that existing GP blood tests cannot be conducted today 
Attack 'limits' services Cork University Hospital can provide

Cork University Hospital (CUH). File Picture: Dennis Minihane

Cork University Hospital has cancelled radiotherapy appointments and said it will be "limited" in the numbers and types of services it can provide to patients today as a result of the cyberattack on the HSE this morning.

The hospital said its labs will also be "severely affected" with existing GP blood tests no longer able to be conducted.

Emergency blood tests will be processed, however. 

In a statement, CUH said those with a scheduled OPD, Chemotherapy, X-Ray or surgery appointment can still come to the hospital unless they have been explicitly contacted to cancel.

CUH said patients should be aware that the hospital's full suite of records may not be accessible today. 

"Management at CUH wishes to remind the public that people should only attend the ED in emergency situations and that delays are likely as a result of the current IT situation," the hospital said.

Earlier, Professor Seamus O’Reilly, consultant oncologist at CUH, told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland of the distress being experienced by cancer patients awaiting clarity on test results because of this morning's cyber attack.

Prof O'Reilly said the whole situation was very distressing for patients awaiting clarity on test results.

He said and he was anxious that cancer care should go ahead if possible, adding that the main concern for those working at the hospital was patient safety.

Today's events had prompted the hospital to realise how "utterly reliant we are on IT systems," he said. 

He also highlighted the need for updated cybersecurity measures like firewalls to prevent incidents like this from happening.

Prof O'Reilly said this morning's cyberattack was putting further pressure on a system that was already under pressure because of Covid-19 over the past year.

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