Ireland’s healthcare system is coming under pressure, with systems still offline after a massive ransomware attack.

Ransomware group Conti is demanding $20-million to restore systems, but authorities have vowed not to pay the ransom.

The cyber-attack took place on Friday last week, affecting more than 2 000 patient-facing IT systems and about 80 000 connected devices.

The government has deployed hundreds of people to get the systems back up and running, with priority given to those used for patient diagnostics, including radiology, radiotherapy, maternity and newborn services.

However, experts say it could be weeks before the systems are back online and the public health service back to normal.

The Russian-speaking group Conti has threatened to start publishing and selling private information “very soon” if it didn’t receive the ransom.

The Health Service Executive said in a statement the attack raises serious concerns about the implications for patient care arising from the very limited access to diagnostics, lab services and historical patient records.

The attack on the Irish health system comes just a week after US company Colonial Pipeline is believed to have paid ransomware group DarkSide $5-million to restore its systems after fuel deliveries across the US were disrupted.