Cyber security incident takes down Waikato DHB’s IT systems

A cyber security incident has knocked out Waikato District Health Board’s IT systems, affecting clinical services across its five hospitals, including the 673-bed Waikato Hospital.

The DHB issued a statement saying it was experiencing a full outage of its information services as well as landline phone services, including the main hospital number.

The statement said a coordinated incident management system has been established and external assistance engaged.

“We are at the early stages of identifying what has happened, and are unable to provide further detail at this stage while we investigate the incident,” the statement says. “The appropriate government authorities have been advised of the situation.

“This is affecting all clinical services across our Waikato DHB hospitals (Waikato, Thames, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui) to varying degrees. We want to assure the public that all inpatients are continuing to receive quality care from our staff.

“Unfortunately this has meant some outpatient clinics may be cancelled as a result of this outage. Those affected will be contacted to rebook their appointments.”

Waikato is the latest in a spate of cyber incidents affecting hospital and aged care organisations in the region, most recently UnitingCare Queensland.

Ransomware attacks are also a feature internationally, with the Scripps Health network in the US still without its IT systems after two weeks, and a massive attack on Ireland’s health system last Friday, which has affected both the Department of Health and the country’s hospital services operator, Health Services Executive.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

Tags: Waikato DHB, Ransomware, cyber attack

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