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Cyberattack on health care disrupting the whole plan of appointment for travelers

Doctors' appointments were canceled automatically due to cyberattacks

Published: November 3, 2021 By Ozair Malik

A cyberattack on the health-care system resulted in the cancellation of all appointments

Image source – freepik.com

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Health Care System

The health care system of Newfoundland, and Labrador, a province of Canada, were under cyber-attack where attackers changed their whole system. All the appointments in different hospitals were canceled, upsetting all the patients, and leaving all the doctors openmouthed.

Appointment Calls

Numerous doctors received a call from their hospital where were confirmed that they had an appointment on Monday. The same patients were told about their appointments, but they were told about the cancellation at the door.

Patients Issues

One of the patients, Greg Nuna, told the News that he was out of the valley. On a Friday night, he received a call in which his appointment at Health Science Center in St. John's was confirmed. He must be at the hospital on Monday for his surgery. He flew with his daughter on Sunday evening to attend his appointment, but there wasn't any appointment at the hospital.

Adding more, he said:

This is a huge disappointment for all of the patients, especially those who have to travel a significant distance, such as me. There should be a system in place to alert them whether or not they have any appointments.

He was wearing a catheter that had to be removed on Monday, so he'd return to his ordinary life, but this made him cry. He also must get back to his home on Tuesday and now hope for the best situation.

Jessica Connors was also among those sufferers who had to travel for her checkup. She had a tumor in her head, and she was there for an MRI scan. She had hardly prepared herself for this, but later she received an update where her appointment was postponed to Tuesday.

Back to Papers

 After this attack, the Health System decided to get back on the papers. To escape from more damage, the paper system was the best choice. They know that this is a slower and less efficient process but is more credible.

According to Clinical Experts:

They advised against going ahead with most appointments using the paper-based system for safety reasons.

Affected COVID System

The system that stores COVID 19 records was harmed, although the authorities continued to process COVID forms and applications. People must call 811 for COVID testing.

First, they announced the outage on Saturday night, as the system was completed affected. But later, they declared that travelers who didn't have completed the form due to system error could use a paper.

Timeline for Fixation

The Centre of Health Information, which looks for IT needs, is looking after this issue. They are working on it to fix it and cannot give the exact time to make it normal.

According to Health Minister Haggie:

They don’t have any information whether patients’ personal information has been compromised.

Severity of Attack

Thousands of appointments were canceled, causing delays in emergency services, problems with COVID testing, and potentially putting patients' personal information in danger. The authorities were not able to use their system.

The health minister said:

We need to know the severity of the situation and we need to get a handle on exactly how we are going to address this.

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Author
Ozair Malik
A passionate Cyber Security researcher and writer with a keen interest in Digital Forensics. A community worker running a insta blog to raise cybersecurity awareness among laymen.

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