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Server down, patients out: Crippled after cyber attack, AIIMS turns into a sea of suffering

1 month ago 35

New Delhi: On a good day, the area outside AIIMS is a bad place to be. With the server down for 8 consecutive days, it is hell.

Cyberpunks debilitated AIIMS systems, and officials have not been able to restore services even after eight days, but it is the likes of 52-two-year-old Krishna Devi, among several others, who are bearing the consequences.

Krishna Devi has travelled all the way from Bihar to get treatment for nerve-related pain in her wrists. She also plans to get eye surgery done. Krishna told Firstpost, “I have been living at my daughter’s place in Gurgaon for over a week and I have been coming here to get a check-up done. But, the officials have asked me to try and get an appointment on a tatkal basis.”

Cyberpunks debilitated #AIIMS systems, and officials have not been able to restore services even after eight days, but it is the likes of 52-two-year-old Krishna Devi, among several others, who are bearing the consequences.#CyberAttackhttps://t.co/P0SDKJmKsD pic.twitter.com/x2T4TSCOdZ

— Firstpost (@firstpost) November 30, 2022

"I have heard people talk about the system being hacked and that is causing problems for the patients. I am poor and it is not possible for me to spend money on frequent travel. It is getting extremely difficult for us," she added.

Thirty-Eight-year-old Rani Kumari's husband was agitated as he has been trying to get an appointment for his wife. Rani, who might be suffering from throat cancer, has been asked to wait for three months by the ENT department to get tests done and the hospital can't get her registered right now because of the server issues,' said her husband.

Another patient who has been visiting AIIMS for the past four years said people have been facing issues with admission due to the servers being down. His son, whose platelet count keeps dropping, is being treated in the hospital for four years, but could not be admitted this time because of the ongoing technical snag AIIMS is facing.

Naeem-Ul-Hassan's wife told Firstpost that her husband who suffers from a neurological problem is being treated in AIIMS but it was for the first time that the hospital is registering patients using a manual mode which is creating chaos for the public.

Prabharkar's 8-year-old son has been diagnosed with a tumour in one of the eyes. Prabhakar has travelled from Agra to Delhi. However, he leaves disappointed every day as he is not able to get an appointment for his son since it is difficult for the hospital to get patients registered right now.

One-and-a-half-year-old Arun can't speak or walk. His parents have been waiting for his blood reports for over a week now. The OPD and sample collection were handled manually, but the sample collection system for those who do not have a Unique Health Identification has been affected.

As each sample collected requires a barcode for tracking, the server going down has led to very few samples being collected.

Meanwhile, an AIIMS official earlier had said, “With the server being down, the outpatient and inpatient digital hospital services, including smart lab, billing, report generation and appointment system, among others have been affected."

News of the AIIMS-Delhi server being down for over a week now has raised suspicion that a ransomware attack is being carried out. The hospital in a statement earlier said that a team from the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has said this could be a ransomware attack and has been referred to relevant law enforcement agencies.

Measures are being taken to restore the digital services and support is being sought from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and NIC, AIIMS added.

AIIMS-Delhi, which sees 1.5 million outpatients and 80,000 inpatients every year, has witnessed long queues outside every department with the registration section being the worst affected.

Firstpost tried contacting the director, but to no avail. Despite several calls and texts, he did not respond. The copy will be updated as and when his response comes in.

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