More than 30,000 HSE laptops must be replaced due to cyberattack

‘Still a long way to go’ before services completely restored, says Reid

HSE chief executive  Paul Reid pictured at Dr Steevens’ Hospital on Thursday afternoon at the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid pictured at Dr Steevens’ Hospital on Thursday afternoon at the weekly HSE operational update on the response to Covid-19.

 

At least 30,000 Health Service Executive laptops will have to be replaced as a result of the cyberattack on its IT systems, according to chief executive Paul Reid.

Each one of the 2,000 systems and 5,000 services in the health service has to be put through a verification system before it can be operated again, Mr Reid told a HSE briefing on Thursday.

Defending the organisation’s efforts to restore services, he pointed out that in similar hacking events in the UK, the entities affected faced a “trail of destruction”.

The HSE now has better knowledge of what happened and is awaiting a report from the consultants it has employed to help resolve the problems caused by the cyberattack, he said.

The HSE board is finalising details of the independent investigation that will be carried out into the causes of the incident, he added.

Four weeks after the cyberattack on the HSE’s IT systems, Mr Reid said the situation still involved significant risk and there was “still a long way to go”.

Twenty health sites still have no access to endoscopy, two have no radiology service and 12 laboratories have only a limited service.

Communications from hospitals to GPs were restored last week, and in the last few days GPs have been able to make referrals again for patient tests and to relay vaccine information.

One Scottish agency is still dealing with issues six months after its systems were hacked, Mr Reid pointed out.