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Waikato DHB boss says no ransom will be paid after cyber attack leaves hospitals only taking urgent patients

Waikato DHB’s boss says no ransom will be paid to those responsible for the "cyber security incident" that has resulted in emergency departments only taking urgent patients and the postponement of some elective surgeries.

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It’s affecting all clinical services to varying degrees across the DHB’s hospitals. Source: 1 NEWS

Chief executive Kevin Snee gave an update on Facebook this afternoon about the cyber security issue that was affecting all of the DHB’s hospitals — in Waikato, Thames, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumaranui.

He told Stuff that the attack was under investigation by police and cybersecurity experts and the DHB was trying to verify information that attackers wanted a ransom.

"Irrespective of that, no ransom will be paid,” he said.

The DHB’s emergency departments are currently only taking urgent patients at this stage, Snee said on Facebook.

People in an emergency should continue to call 111, otherwise, they can phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 or visit their GP or local urgent care centre.

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But DHB officials say they do not plan to pay a ransom to the hackers. Source: 1 NEWS

Some outpatient clinics and elective surgeries have unfortunately been postponed, Snee said.

“The care of our patients remains our priority. We’re managing our services to make sure all of our inpatients are kept safe,” he said in the Facebook video.

The DHB’s main phone line has also affected, so those trying to contact loved ones should consider calling personal mobiles where possible.

The DHB said appropriate Government authorities had been advised of the incident.