Internet access delinked at National Healthcare Group and National University Health System

While SingHealth delinked the Internet access of its staff at midnight on July 19, 2018, National Healthcare Group and National University Health System had their services delinked from July 23, 2018, onwards.
While SingHealth delinked the Internet access of its staff at midnight on July 19, 2018, National Healthcare Group and National University Health System had their services delinked from July 23, 2018, onwards.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Two public healthcare groups, National Healthcare Group (NHG) and National University Health System (NUHS), have followed SingHealth's lead in delinking staff's Internet access in the wake of the nation's most serious cyber attack.

This means that all public healthcare clusters have completed the implementation of temporary Internet surfing separation, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement on Monday (July 23).

While SingHealth delinked the Internet access of its staff at midnight on Thursday, NHG and NUHS had their services delinked from Monday onwards.

In its statement, MOH said that public healthcare institutions will work to ensure that patient safety and clinical care are not compromised, though it warned that there will be some inconvenience for patients and healthcare staff during this period.

This is due to the unavailability of some IT system connections that require the Internet.

Currently, public healthcare institutions rely on accessing other systems through the Internet for the delivery of some healthcare services, including the reading of diagnostic reports from laboratories, the submission and retrieval of results from screening databases and birth and death registration.

Other measures that have been put in place include additional controls on workstations and servers, the reset of user and systems accounts, and the installation of additional system monitoring controls on IT systems, said MOH.

 

Interim alternatives are now being deployed to departments requiring Internet access, including separate shared workstations for connection to the Internet where needed for the staff's work.