Clinic feeling impact of DHB hack

Image via Pixabay

The Te Awamutu Medical Centre is feeling the impact of the hacking breach which crippled the Waikato District Health Board last week.

Medical Centre general manager Wayne Lim said channels of communication with the Waikato DHB including emails and landline phones have been affected.

“Some temporary communication measures have now been put in place, but the outage is still impacting on us,” he said.

“Many of the services that rely heavily on technology, for example radiology, are still hampered by the problems.  We expect that responses from various WDHB departments will be delayed for days yet, possibly longer.”

The delays impact on some services for their patients, and also affect the clinic in terms of how they refer their patients up to secondary care at the hospital, and especially how they send information to the clinicians at the WDHB.

Mr Lim said the DHB had been working hard to keep connected with its regional clinics.

The breach was a very significant event, and scary in the sense that it could happen to anyone.

“Generally, our staff and our patients have been very understanding so far and it serves as a reminder to keep up our own security practices around IT,” he said.

“We all hope the issues get sorted out fast, so that we can get back to providing our usual services and bring down those response times for our patients.

“It’s a sad reminder to us all that there are malicious hackers out there and we all need to be very careful and diligent around our cyber security.”

Health Minister Andrew Little says no ransom demands will be considered. The hackers responsible for the cyber breach demanded payments to unlock the IT system.

It is still not clear just how compromised files contained by the DHB has been.

But Mr Little said he was aware some journalists received “what appears to be personal and patient information” stolen from the DHB.

The board region takes in more than 400,000 people.

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