Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has welcomed legislation that would see a unique number – the Individual Health Identifier – assigned to each person to whom a health service is being, has been or may be provided.
Senator Cullinane said:
“We welcome this Bill. It is long overdue and hopefully it will improve the delivery of health services.
“As it stands there is little co-ordination between the records of patients kept by GPs and other providers of primary care, including the HSE, and between them and acute hospitals and other providers at secondary and tertiary.
“Even within hospitals there are difficulties because of the absence of a single patient number for each patient.
“We are all familiar with the repeated filling out of patient information during the course of a hospital visit and this can happen even when the hospital already has your records.
“We need to ensure that maximum benefit from this change is assured for all users of our health services and for health service providers.
“However it is important we need to proceed with caution and ensure that measures are put in place to protect people’s personal data and to prevent abuse of what will be a very important and valuable database on our population.”