NL Healthcare system remains vulnerable

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NL Healthcare system remains vulnerable to devastating cyberattacks: Dinn
Paul Dinn says news of yet another ignored warning about last year’s devastating cyberattack means healthcare in NL remains vulnerable to attack.
Monday, July 18, 2022

(July 18, 2022) – Paul Dinn, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister for Health and Community Services and MHA for Topsail-Paradise, says news of yet another ignored warning about last year’s devastating cyberattack means healthcare in Newfoundland and Labrador remains vulnerable to attack.

According to the Telegram, the former health minister was warned a year ahead of the attack that “ransomware is a significant and ever-increasing threat to patient safety and healthcare operations.”

“Yet again we hear a story of how the real, credible threat of a cyberattack on our healthcare system was ignored by Government. In September 2020, a separate warning was issued by international cybersecurity experts. That means two clear warnings came and were ignored on the same day,” said Dinn.

“Even when presented with clear, specific information and recommendations from experts, the Liberal Government does not react. When asked for comment, the Department of Health deflected by saying they engage in ‘continuous monitoring.’ After all of the disruptions the people of Newfoundland and Labrador have endured, they need accountability and a detailed explanation of what occurred, not a commitment to the status quo.”

Dinn says with the healthcare system more reliant on virtual care than ever, the risk of another cyberattack is still very real.

“As we speak, multiple emergency rooms are closed or on diversion, with residents left to rely on virtual emergency rooms or virtual doctor appointments. Our healthcare system has become more reliant on online infrastructure, not less. What specific measures have been taken to enhance security? What if another cyberattack strikes and takes down virtual care options?” said Dinn.

“The people of Newfoundland and Labrador need to understand if there have been lessons learned from this incident. There is no evidence the Liberal Government has taken any additional steps to protect from this kind of catastrophic event. The people need answers. An inquiry is the only way to ensure the truth comes out”

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Contacts:

David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

DavidMaher@gov.nl.ca

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