‘A long way still to go’, says Waikato DHB
Though Waikato DHB has restored some of its foundational services in the past week, Chief Executive Dr Kevin Snee said in a statement yesterday that there remains “a great deal of work to be done across the DHB which will take time”.
The restored services include diagnostics from laboratory radiology services, recording tracking patients as they move through the DHB’s hospitals, clinician access to patients’ full medical information.
Dr Graham Mills, Medical Director of Medical Services, mentioned that the restoration of these core services has changed the way clinical staff are now able to work, although they are “not yet operating with their full functionality”.
Radiation therapy was resumed last week with the service being expected to operate at near normal capacity next week.
The statement went on to say that the manual process that had to be instituted across the DHB’s hospitals to ensure continuity of care safety is still necessary in many areas.
The DHB is now reviewing patient cases whose treatment had to be deferred over the past weeks to re-book them according to their clinical priority.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Waikato DHB’s information service system experienced a full outage on 18 May after it got hit by a cyberattack that may have been trigged via an email attachment.
On 26 May, several media outlets received patient information allegedly released by Waikato DHB’s hackers. In an update on 2 June, the DHB reported that “significant” progress had been made toward restoring its technical systems.
ON THE RECORD
“These are crucial services for our patients – key milestones in the DHB’s recovery. With these back up running our hospitals have been able to take a big step forward, but there is a still a long road ahead,” Dr Snee said.
“We continue to prioritise clinical services to minimise disruption for patients,” he added.