Statement On Cyber Security Incident

01 October 2019

Following a cyber security incident that has affected a number of regional hospitals, measures have been taken to isolate the threat and support patients that have been impacted.

Regrettably, this has had an impact on a small number of clinical services, including outpatient appointments and elective surgery.

As a precautionary step, the affected hospitals have disconnected a number of systems such as internet to quarantine the infection.

Emergency surgery and emergency departments have not been compromised.

The hospitals affected are those that are part of the Gippsland Health Alliance and the South West Alliance of Rural Health.

At this stage, we are advised that although Barwon Health had to suspend some clinical services, most outpatient appointments and most elective surgery proceeded as planned today. There has also been a small impact to aged care at Warrnambool and radiation services in Gippsland.

Other hospitals have so far avoided having to suspend clinical services.

I want to thank patients for their understanding as we work to resolve this incident, and our hard-working nurses, doctors and other hospital staff for their efforts to manage the issue.

The Victorian Government’s priority is working with state and federal experts to get these hospitals back online as quickly as possible, so patients can get the treatment they need.

The Government continues to invest to keep our hospital networks as safe as possible – this includes $13 million in this year’s Victorian Budget for the latest digital infrastructure and cyber security.

A full review will take place to address what has occurred, and identify what additional measures may be required to ensure hospitals have the best protection against cyber security incidents.

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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