19th May 2024
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150 operations, 3,000 patient check-ups cancelled after Barcelona hospital cyberattack

A cyberattack on one of Barcelona’s main hospitals that took place on Sunday has since crippled the centre’s computer system and forced the cancellation of 150 non-urgent operations and up to 3,000 patient check-up appointments, officials said on Monday.

The attack on the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona shut down computers at the facility’s laboratories, emergency room and pharmacy at three main centres and several external clinics across the city.

In addition to Hospital Clínic, the Casanova, Borrell, and Les Corts primary care centres and IDIBAPS research institute, which also use the hospital’s virtual server system, have also been affected, as have the Villarroel, Plató, and Maternitat outpatient sites.

The hospital’s website has been down since Sunday at 11.17am when the cyberattack was first detected. 

‘We can’t make any prediction as to when the system will be back up to normal,’ hospital director Antoni Castells told a news conference on Monday. He said the hospital’s contingency plan would allow them to function for several days, but he hoped the system would be fixed sooner.

A Catalan government statement said the region’s Cybersecurity Agency was working to restore the system. The agency said on Monday the attack was orchestrated from outside of Spain by a group called ‘Ransom House’.

Regional government telecommunications secretary Sergi Marcén said that hackers hadn’t made any ransom demand so far but that no money would be paid.

The hospital’s press department said that all written work was being done on paper and that the hospital was diverting new urgent cases to other hospitals in the city. Spanish state news agency EFE said the attack cut off access to patients records and communication between units.

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