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Cyberattack chaos shows importance of taking action now: Brazil, Dinn
Brazil, Dinn say as more details emerge of the chaos caused by the 2021 cyberattack in our province’s healthcare system, it’s time for the Liberal government to finally be transparent with measures taken to ensure it can never happen again.
Friday, August 12, 2022

(August 12, 2022) – David Brazil, PC Official Opposition Leader and MHA for Conception Bay East-Bell Island, says as more details emerge of the chaos caused by the 2021 cyberattack in our province’s healthcare system, it’s time for the Liberal government to finally be transparent with measures taken to ensure it can never happen again.

The Telegram published a two-part series this week detailing the sheer scale of issues caused by the cyberattack – everything from payroll, meals served to residents, long-term care home admissions, and access to medication was ground to a halt as a result of the cyberattack.

“We saw a similar situation unfold in Ireland months prior to the cyberattack on our healthcare system. Within six months, a full public inquiry was launched with information readily available to the public regarding what happened, what was the scale, whether a ransom had been requested, and what had been done to prevent such gridlock in the healthcare system from happening again,” said Brazil.

“Here at home, it took ten months for an access to information request to be made available to media to give some sort of insight into what the impacts on patients during this emergency were. The lack of transparency on this emergency remains unacceptable. The people of our province need to have confidence in our cybersecurity – especially in the healthcare field – yet the Premier and Ministers responsible do not share that opinion.”

Brazil notes within six months of the Irish attack a full report was made public from PriceWaterHouseCoopers detailing how the hackers got into the system, what the weaknesses of the system were, and with recommendations for improvement.

Paul Dinn, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister of Health and Community Services and MHA for Topsail-Paradise, is renewing a call for a public inquiry into the cyberattack, to ensure the healthcare system is well positioned to prevent or mitigate the next attack.

“These cyberattacks are not one-time events. Hackers are testing the fences of our cybersecurity infrastructure daily and we now have an understanding of the level of chaos faced by patients and staff alike when someone breaks in. In healthcare, every moment is precious. These kinds of disruptions must be resisted at all costs,” said Dinn.

“Public inquires can have in-camera sessions to protect sensitive information while still allowing recommendations for improvements to the healthcare system. The public and policymakers alike need a full understanding of what happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Until a full understanding of the attack is gained, I worry we remain vulnerable to the next attack.”

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Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Communications and Digital Strategy

(cell) (709) 729-3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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