Patients attending the Emergency Department, outpatient and other appointments at University Hospital Galway are facing significant delays as the impact of the ransomware attack on the HSE IT systems continues to affect the delivery of hospital services.

In a statement from Saolta this evening it says that although progress has been made to get priority systems back up and running including radiology, diagnostic/laboratory and patient information systems, many systems are not functioning fully or are much slower than usual. In addition, many supporting systems haven’t been restored yet.

 Dr Ramona McLoughlin, Clinical Director for the Medical Directorate said, “We want to advise patients that they will face delays when they come to the hospital. We regret these delays and are working very hard within the hospital and with HSE IT Services nationally to restore the systems to allow us to function efficiently. There are around 80 different interconnected IT systems in use at the hospital making it a complex process to restore and the workarounds in place in the meantime are slowing us down. Unfortunately we are not able to run all clinics yet and we are still cancelling appointments.

 “Patients who are notified that their appointment is going ahead are advised to attend and be prepared to face delays.

 “Patients attending the Emergency Department are facing extremely long delays because essential services like blood tests and diagnostic services are taking much longer than usual and this is significantly increasing turnaround times for our patients. Patients needing urgent care will be prioritised. We ask patients to contact their GP or GP Out Of Hours Service in the first instance if their health problem is not urgent.

 “We would like to thank all our patients and their families for their support at this difficult time and apologise for the current disruptions and delays.”