Waikato District Health Board has been crippled by a computer worm which has seen every PC in the organisation shut down. While the main hospital in Hamilton and smaller outlying hospitals were continuing to function, spokeswoman Mary-Ann Gill said it was important people only came for treatment if it was absolutely necessary.
Emergency care was still available but those arriving for routine appointments were being affected, as were GPs who often made referrals to hospitals via email. "We are asking GPs to only make urgent referrals," she said. "We need to keep as many people out of hospitals as we can."
Ms Gill said DHB technicians were working on a computer upgrade overnight when things started to go awry. "About 2am they noticed there were some issues with the computers. By 4am they realised a computer virus had got into our whole system.
"We brought in Microsoft and have been working with them through the night."
Conficka has been identified as the culprit.