Radiation treatment back online for Eastern Health cancer patients

·1 min read
Eastern Health says the IT system for cancer patients' radiation treament is back online. (CBC - image credit)
Eastern Health says the IT system for cancer patients' radiation treament is back online. (CBC - image credit)

Radiation treatment for cancer patients is back underway in the Eastern Health region Sunday after being held up by the cyberattack affecting Newfoundland and Labrador's healthcare system.

According a press release issued by Eastern Health on Saturday night, the health authority received confirmation from the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information that the IT system used in cancer care was back up and running Saturday.

The oncology system is used to "communicate, document, plan, order and deliver cancer care services to the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador," according to the release.

Radiation treatment had been on hold as officials worked to get the system online, while chemotherapy appointments have been continuing at a reduced capacity in recent days.

People booked for radiation appointments will be contacted to have their appointments scheduled, with the most urgent patients being contacted first. The health authority is also encouraging people to answer unknown phone numbers, as it could be a health official.

Some appointments may happen after hours to catch up on the backlog of appointments, Eastern Health said.

Routine cancer screening remains unavailable.

The health authority said it remains focused on emergency and urgent services in health facilities, and will also be going ahead with some services that don't rely on the blood collection and medical imaging IT systems.

Patients will be contacted directly if their appointment is going ahead, and should assume their appointments have been cancelled if they are not contacted by Eastern Health.

The health authority said in its release that some surgeries and procedures that can be performed safely are now beginning to be scheduled.

Community-based services are still available, including some mental health and addictions services.

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