AN IRISH doctor has warned that people's lives could be at stake following the cyber attack which struck the HSE during the night.
It was confirmed this morning that Ireland's Health Service Executive had been hit by a "significant ransomware attack".
HSE chief Paul Reid said that all computers had been shut down in order to protect them, as the attack has impacted all of its national and local IT systems, which are involved in all core services.
While patients are being encouraged to go ahead with their appointments as planned, the day has been plagued by severe disruptions, and Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital has been forced into making hundreds of cancellations.
Without knowing how long the systems will be down for, there's a genuine threat to patient safety, and one doctor even warned that people could die as a result of the crisis, because almost everything is run exclusively through computers and over the internet.
"I cannot begin to describe how serious this is," the unnamed doctor told Extra.ie.
"We came in this morning and we couldn’t tell what patients were admitted overnight, who we had under our care or where in the hospital they were.
"When we found them, we weren’t able to look up any of their records and we weren’t even capable of pulling their charts as they’re electronically tagged.
"Patients who are presenting with very serious issues are now unlikely to be able to have the appropriate investigations or procedures done. Everything’s been cancelled.
"It’s literally just gone back to the stone age at present.
"We’re trying to get engineers in to separate all of the tech from the internet so that we can use them but at the moment, nothing is working and it’s just an utter shambles."