There are many concerns, some just potential but the main concern is also the most immediate: medical staff can’t access patient data so they don’t know the patient’s history or treatment record. That alone is a major disaster.
Hard to know what the hackers might do with the data but the threat of legal action for GDPR breaches is uppermost in the HSE’s thinking at present. Hence Stephen Donnelly’s comment about lawyers “licking their lips”.
The Law Society’s outrage at the Minister’s remark did not deny that lawyers would seek to extract the maximum in legal fees from the State for any legal issues they might identify. Did anyone in the media draw attention to the Law Society’s failure to acknoweldge any need for restraint at this time of national crisis? “Licking their lips” sounds fair in that context.
What exactly is the moral difference between the hackers and the lawyers in this situation? Both are trying to extract money from the government. The hacker is doing so illegally whereas the lawyer is using the legal system but the legal system is managed in the interests of their own profession, especially when it comes to fees. I’d say the average hacker would be delighted to receive a soliticitor’s hourly rate. The HSE spends far more than Euro 20M. a year on legal fees. So, morally speaking, should lawyers seek professional fees at the highest rate from our national health service provider when dealing with the consequences of this hack?
When was the last time you heard of an Irish lawyer working pro bono on a case that would normally attract fees? Maybe this is the time for a national debate.