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Continuing serious impact of cyberattack on EDs – IAEM

By Mindo - 03rd Jun 2021

Ireland’s 28 emergency departments (EDs) and 11 injury units remain open but EDs in the majority of HSE hospitals (statutory rather than voluntary hospitals) continue to be “very seriously impacted by the ransomware cyberattack on the HSE”, according to the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine (IAEM).

“As people are aware, this attack resulted in the complete shutdown of all ICT systems used in the public hospital system with many of the systems being damaged in the attack,” the Association outlined in a statement this morning.

“They have had to be rebuilt and while some services have been partially restored, there continue to be major deficits in basic ICT provision which will continue to greatly impact on patient care and are an understandable cause of intense frustration to patients and clinical staff alike.

“As we near the end of the third week of impact, the public needs to understand that this issue continues to affect their care and ED and other hospital services are very far from returning to normal.

“In the main, the key issues noted in our press release of 18 May still apply. We are asking the public therefore to note that the advice offered then that only those with a need for emergency treatment should attend an ED is still relevant.”

The IAEM said it is important that the public understand “how difficult the provision of care is in the current unprecedented situation and that this situation is likely to continue for some time yet”.

“We ask for your forbearance as we try to help you as best we can. Please help us to help you by following our advice.

“We remain acutely aware that HSE ICT personnel and many others are working day and night to restore these vital services as soon as possible and although we are currently struggling to provide our normal level of care, all of us at the frontline continue to appreciate their efforts.”

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