PNP calls on Tufton to address alleged data breach at SERHA
Junior Opposition Spokesperson on Commerce, Science and Technology Omar Newell

KINGSTON, Jamaica - Junior Opposition Spokesperson on Commerce, Science and Technology Omar Newell is calling on Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, to publicly address an alleged data breach at the South East Regional Health Authority (SERHA).

In a media release two weeks ago, SERHA reported that digital communication within the Region is currently unavailable and has been so since January 10, 2023, due to a “network issue”.

On Tuesday, SERHA advised staff that there would be delays in their January salary due to network issues. However, the Opposition said it is in receipt of information that suggests that there has been a serious security breach at SERHA.

According to Newell, several sources have indicated that patient records were breached, and the hackers are demanding a ransom.

“Information first came to my attention on Wednesday, 11th January, that certain vulnerabilities at SERHA were exploited by persons with ill intent. Additional information received suggests that the breach may be greater than suggested by SERHA”, Newel said in a statement on Wednesday.

Newel expressed, “By international standards, it is good practice for organisations to acknowledge when there is a data breach, the extent of the breach and steps being taken to have [the] same corrected”.

As a result, Newell is calling on the minister to indicate whether patient records and any other data have been accessed by any external party if any data was in fact breached and whether said data was encrypted.

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