Suspected cyberattack in N.L. hits 'brain' of province's health-care system

·1 min read

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — A suspected cyberattack on Newfoundland and Labrador's health system has led to the cancellation of thousands of medical appointments across the province.

Health Minister John Haggie said today the "brain" of the network's data centre, operated by Bell, has been damaged, including the main and backup computer systems, adding that the damage was first detected Saturday.

The minister described the situation as a "possible cyberattack by a third party," which he said has forced the health systems in some regions to revert to paper or local computer networks.

Newfoundland and Labrador's Eastern Health region was hardest hit, leading to the cancellation today of all non-emergency medical appointments and procedures.

The health authorities in western Newfoundland and Labrador hadn't been hit as hard, and the health authority in central Newfoundland was impacted but less severely than in the eastern region.

Eastern Health CEO David Diamond said today his agency has lost everything from basic email to diagnostic images and lab results, adding that non-urgent medical procedures could be cancelled again on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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