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HSE cyber attack: what services are affected and which ones are still working?

An IT shutdown has had an impact on wider operations today.

Image: RollingNews.ie

THE HEALTH SERVICE shut down its computer systems this morning after experiencing what it described as a “significant ransomware attack”.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said that he and HSE CEO Paul Reid are working to ensure that HSE systems and the information is protected.

But the shutdown has had an impact on wider operations today, with appointments and other services cancelled while it is ongoing.

Here’s what’s been affected and which services are still running.

What’s working

Emergency departments

  • Emergency departments are still open for all medical emergencies, but there may be delays. Hospital groups say you should only attend in an emergency.

Ambulance services

  • The national ambulance service is operating as normal.

Covid-19 vaccinations

  • Vaccination appointments are going ahead as normal.

Covid-19 testing appointments

  • If you already have an appointment for a Covid-19 test, you should attend as planned.

Virtual hospital appointments

  • Most are going ahead as planned, but some may be cancelled or changed to phone calls.

In-person hospital appointments 

  • Most appointments are still going ahead as planned, but there may be delays due to hospitals using manual, offline processes.
  • If your hospital or procedure is not listed below (in the ‘What’s not working’ section), attend your appointment as planned.

What’s not working

Covid-19 testing appointments

  • If you are looking for a Covid-19 test, you can’t get one through your GP as normal.
  • But if you have symptoms of Covid-19, you should still phone your GP. They may tell you to go to a Covid-19 walk-in test centre.
  • If you are a close contact of a confirmed case, you can also use a walk-in test centre.

Hospital disruptions

Hospitals across the country are experiencing delays, with specific disruptions to the following services:

Rotunda Maternity Hospital

  • Outpatient maternity appointments and scans have been cancelled today, Monday and Tuesday except for those for women who are at least 36 weeks pregnant.
  • Those in an emergency should contact the hospitals new helpline on 01 211 9351.
  • All gynaecology and colposcopy surgeries are also cancelled on Monday and Tuesday.
  • All weekend paediatric appointments for babies will go ahead this weekend. On Monday and Tuesday, appointments for babies less than two weeks old will continue as scheduled but appointments for babies older than that will be rescheduled.
  • Patients with an urgent early pregnancy appointment should attend the hospital as scheduled, but non-urgent appointments will be rescheduled. Those unsure if they’re affected should ring 01 211 9351.

The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street

  • The hospital said there would be “significant disruption” to its services today, but has urged those with an appointment or who needed to attend the hospital to “please come as normal”.

St Columcille’s Loughlinstown

  • Radiology appointments for today were cancelled and the hospital has contacted affected patients.

Cork University Hospital

  • Radiotherapy and most x-ray appointments are cancelled; only emergency blood samples are being sent to labs. The hospital will contact people whose appointments have been cancelled.

St. Luke’s General Hospital Carlow Kilkenny

  • Outpatient services on Monday 17 May are cancelled, apart from antenatal clinics.
  • Routine X-ray, physio and cardiac diagnostic appointments have also been cancelled, and will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Wexford General Hospital

  • All X-ray appointments scheduled for Monday 17 May are cancelled, with patients told to contact 053 9153307 between 9am and 4pm on Monday to reschedule.
  • All endoscopy procedures scheduled for Monday have also been cancelled, and affected patients will be contacted.

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Tipperary University Hospital

  • There has been some cancellation of appointments, with affected patients being contacted and advised of whether they are affected.

Royal Victoria Eye & Ear Hospital

  • Emergency and urgent care remains open.
  • All ophthalmology outpatient services have been cancelled until further notice.
  • Patients will be contacted directly if appointments are cancelled, and any cancelled appoints will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

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