HSE takes action against ‘major incident’ as massive cyber-attack hits 99 countries around the world
The attack on the NHS in the United Kingdom has placed Ireland’s health service on alert.
Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) is taking precautionary measures with its IT systems following the ransomware attacks on the NHS in the UK on Friday, which the HSE are treating as a ‘major incident’.
A global ransomware attack that has affected as many as 99 countries all over the world hit the IT systems of the NHS on Friday, causing chaos in hospitals throughout the United Kingdom as a result.
Thousands of patients were affected, with hospitals having to cancel operations and divert ambulances, while patient records were also inaccessible.
Although Ireland is not currently one of the countries affected by the ransomware attack, the HSE leadership convened a special meeting to consider the situation on Friday evening.
All external access to the HSE’s network has been prevented as a result and the HSE says that will it treat it as a ‘major incident’ until more information becomes available.
Patient care is as it should be and our staff are supported to continue to use digital solutions for the delivery of care. https://t.co/Rm6hzJ7q9j
— HSE Ireland (@HSELive) May 12, 2017
In a statement released on Friday night, the HSE said: "In light of the cyber-attacks today on the information technology systems in both NHS and NHS Scotland, the HSE's leadership convened a special meeting this evening in order to consider the situation.
"On foot of that meeting it was decided that, as a protective measure, the HSE's Office of the Chief Information Officer would remove all external access to the HSE's Network to protect the integrity of clinical IT systems throughout our health system.
"A precautionary ‘major incident’ has been raised and the HSE will treat this as a ‘major incident’ during this time and until further information is known.
"The HSE will continue to monitor closely the situation and stay in touch with both NHS England and NHS Scotland to gather intelligence and offer assistance if necessary."
The HSE added that patient care is as it should be and that staff are supported to continue to use digital solutions for the delivery of care.