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Outage cleared at multiple Toronto hospitals after strong winds cause disruptions

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An outage at Toronto’s University Health Network has been cleared after stormy weather and strong winds caused appointment and service delays at several hospitals in the city.

The health network posted on social media Wednesday afternoon that they have restored the health information system and several of the other systems are being restored as well. The outage started early Wednesday morning.

Patients might still experience delays with care for the remainder of the day, the network added, due to the backlogs that need to clear.

Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that the weather caused the outage and it impacted the entire region.

“I've been assured that they are working actively on it,” Jones said Wednesday morning. “I have all the confidence in the world that it will be resolved quickly.”

In a message posted to social media Wednesday, University Health Network (UHN) said the “unexpected” outage impacted service at Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.

“The outage is impacting the UHN website, patient portal and patient record systems,” the hospital network stated on social media. “Some patient appointments and procedures are delayed … A limited number of procedures have been cancelled and will be re-booked by clinic staff.”

Dr. Kathryn Tinckam, UHN physician-in-chief and program medical director, told CP24 on Wednesday afternoon that patients have been contacted directly about any changes to their care.

“Patients with early-to-mid morning appointments, have certainly experienced some delays in their care and in some very few cases, we've had to actually postpone some procedures out of an abundance of caution,” Tinckam said. “The teams are working very hard to reschedule any care that's been delayed or postponed.”

She said that very few cases have been postponed and that most patients should just expect slight delays in their care. She said there has also been delays receiving lab results and imaging results.

“We also want to emphasize that patient safety is paramount, and patient safety has not been affected during this incident,” she stated.

She added that the incident is not cyber related and patient information remains safe.

The UHN’s website is back up and running after several hours of not being operational.

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