Consultations cancelled, operations suspended: Vivalia hospitals still paralyzed after a cyberattack

Since this weekend, the hospitals of the Vivalia group have been idling. The only services still active are those of oncology and emergencies.

This morning at Libramont, only emergencies continue to operate for the most important care. Without computers, caregivers take notes using a sheet and a pen. A return to a bygone era that affects all l’organisation explains Jean-Luc Lejeune, emergency physician and medical director: “It is impossible to enter a computer to see if patients have a history or allergies for example”.”For people who have memory impairment, with a computer, it’s easy to get their treatment. Now people need to know their treatments“he continues.

Consultations and operations on shutdown

The hospital’s 500 daily patients are rare. The weekend cyberattack paralyzes the usual commotion.”We received an SMS notification that the consultations were cancelled. explains a patient. “But finally ours was maintained so we came anyway and everything went well” he says, relieved.

The establishment is slowing down. No more operations or consultations, with the exception of priority cases such as oncology, obstetrics or dialysis. Scheduled radiology and scintigraphy exams are also cancelled. Same thing for the Covid centers, whose activity is also stopped. On the other hand, blood samples taken in the collection centers are maintained.

“There is a file that we are supposed to receive. So, with photocopies and then written things, we were able to manage” explains a patient.

Sarah Leconte is head of the administration department of the hospital Libramont. The young woman recounts a relatively serene start to the week. “Monday is one of the busiest days. For having been on the ground in Arlon and Libramont and having had returns for Marche and Bastogne, overall, it’s calm”.We must still be able to filter patients who have not been informed of this information” she adds.

The investigation is progressing, but the hospital already knows that it will not be able to provide all its services in the next two days. “Por the following days, the medical activity will be reassessed and defined by the Crisis Unit according to the evolution of the situation. The Crisis Unit will meet every morning and urgently if necessary. Decisions will be made in the interests of patients to ensure the best possible continuity of care.“, assure the managers of the intermunicipal company whose teams, supported by external experts, claim to have identified the source of intrusion.