Maastricht UMC+ is struggling with a “major outage.” The hospital’s patient data and communication systems are poorly accessible.

The cause of the disruption is unknown at this time. The problem is “under investigation”, the hospital disclosed in an announcement on its website. Maastricht UMC+ services patients in the Dutch province of Limburg. The outage forced the hospital to close several outpatient clinics.

“If you have an appointment at one of our outpatient clinics today (Thursday 8 September), the appointment will not take place”, the organization said. Patients with health needs that can’t be delayed are advised to come to the hospital regardless. Calling is of little use, as the telephone systems are mostly offline.

Limited access to patient data

Local media report that doctors don’t have access to patient data in digital systems. “The crisis policy team has met to map out what exactly is going on and how deep the problem goes”, shared a spokesperson.

Some systems are unaffected. “Acute treatments are continuing as usual”, the spokesperson added. A number of departments remain active, including dialysis, oncology and the outpatient clinic for pregnant women. The hospital shared an overview on its website.

Outage Maastricht UMC+

Outages don’t necessarily indicate the involvement of a cyberattack, but limited access to patient data is cause for concern. Shutting down systems can prevent the spread of malware. Nevertheless, it’s too early to draw conclusions.

The customer service of a major Dutch energy provider was unreachable by phone and chat over the past week. The provider’s internal IT system went offline due to a failure. Malware played no role whatsoever.

For now, Maastricht UMC+ is “searching for the cause with all its might”, the spokesperson noted.

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Image by Kleon3 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0