155,163 registered members
Medical cards may be available on the web
[Posted: Fri 17/11/2000 www.irishhealth.com]
The public may soon be able to apply for health entitlements, such as medical cards, through computers in their own home, according to the Chief Executive of the Eastern Regional Health Authority, Donal O'Shea.
He said that the ERHA is currently developing an IT programme which will facilitate better and speedier client-centred services for patients: "Our aim is to enable the public and health professionals to have knowledge at their fingertips."
Mr O'Shea also said that he would like the public to be able to apply for entitlements and benefits, such as medical cards, through their own computers or computers in libraries and other public places.
Mr O'Shea made his comments at the 5th annual conference of the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland held yesterday.
IT could also bring about a number of other options, including electronic patient records and treatment information delivered through the Internet, he added.
Earlier this week, irishhealth.com Director John Gibbons, told the European ehealth Conference and Exhibition that the Internet has changed the landscape of healthcare in Ireland: "The old lines between doctors, patients, healthcare providers and the drug industry are becoming much less clear-cut, and much of the power is moving rapidly to the consumer".
More than one million Irish people are now using the Internet, an increase of some 50% since March of this year.
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