Some Tairāwhiti patients affected by cyber attack

Waikato Hospital

Some Tairāwhiti people expecting treatment at Waikato Hospital have been affected by the cyberattack on Waikato DHB systems.

Waikato DHB's information systems were affected by a cybersecurity incident on Tuesday 18 May 2021. Health services are impacted and will resume over time.

Tairāwhiti people who have an appointment or treatment scheduled with Waikato DHB should assume it is going ahead unless they are contacted.

People who have had their treatment rescheduled or moved to another location should contact the Hauora Tairāwhiti travel office to confirm travel arrangements. Email nta@tdh.org.nz or 06 869 0500 ext. 8129.

For cancer patients expecting to go to Waikato for treatment or diagnosis, you will be contacted by Waikato Hospital or Hauora Tairāwhiti oncology Nurse. If you haven't heard from them please, call 869 0500 ext 8130 Mon-Fri 9am - 4pm.

Waikato staff are working around the clock to return the DHB to business as usual. Due to the complexity of the incident, they are unable to say when this will be.

We are working together to minimise the impact on patients, including those that Tairāwhiti would normally send to Hamilton for treatment.  Hauora Tairāwhiti clinical staff are liaising with their Waikato counterparts. Together they agree on the best pathway to care for affected patients. In some cases, this means the patient is transferred to another hospital. Thanks to other DHBs such as Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay DHB and Auckland, who have supported Tairāwhiti to ensure patients get the specialist treatment and care they need. 

Since Tuesday 18 May four Tairāwhiti people needing urgent treatment that would normally have gone to Waikato have been flown to other hospitals. Two went to Tauranga, two went to Auckland and one to Palmerston North. People with planned appointments, treatment or surgery have been affected, including those undergoing radiation treatment. Appointments have been rescheduled or treatment moved to another location.

Privacy

Waikato DHB is working with the Privacy Commissioner, National Cyber Security Centre and GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) to investigate this incident.

They ask people to be wary of unsolicited communication from people claiming to represent Waikato DHB, a government agency or another party. Do not open any emails or click on any links. Scamwatch at Consumer Protection(external link) or IDCARE(external link) have more information on how to generally protect yourself online.

People who have been treated at Waikato DHB may have questions about the privacy of their data. They can call 0800 561 234. This phone number is available 24/7 for privacy queries only.

For further information about your privacy rights and responding to cyber incidents, you may also wish to visit the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner(external link) and CERT New Zealand(external link) websites.

In response to the incident at Waikato DHB, Hauora Tairāwhiti has taken steps to ensure our systems are not attacked.

  • Links between Hauora Tairāwhiti and Waikato DHB systems and applications were severed to prevent any infections attack our patient systems
  • We stopped the use of applications hosted by Waikato DHB
  • Access for Waikato DHB remote users was disabled
  • Our staff have been reminded of what to look out for when using email. This is on top of our normal protocol where all emails sent to a Hauora Tairāwhiti employee from an external email account comes with a warning.
  • Our systems and applications are regularly checked to detect any dormant or active malware presence
  • Security updates are deployed as soon as they become available, to fix exploitable bugs in relevant products.

Regular updates are available on Waikato DHB's website(external link)

Plans in place for cancer patients treated at Waikato DHB(external link) 

 

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