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Unique Identifying Vaccination Numbers Should Be Used For Patients' Hospital Treatment

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Significant increase in cancer diagnoses since pandemic declared

The unique identifying numbers used for Covid-19 vaccinations, should be used for all hospital treatment - that's the view of one Consultant Medical Oncologist.

Prof. Seamus O'Reilly believes this has the potential to harmonise a patient's treatment within the health system, including records transferred more readily.

While speaking to 'Kildare Today' on Wednesday, Prof. O'Reilly noted "we're seeing a significant increase in cancer diagnosis now, compared to this time last year. In the rapid access clinics, in the first six months of the year (2022) we're seeing the same number of patients diagnosed with cancer as we were in all of 2019."

Prof. O'Reilly, based at Cork University Hospital added that the increase of diagnoses was predicted when the pandemic was declared.

He continued stating "we were behind before we started, so there were 600,000 people on a waiting list to see a consultant in February 2020".

The vaccination number system "would make it safer for patients to transfer care".

"There's very few things where you can say 97% of the adult population all have this hospital number, healthcare identifying number, which is on a data base which the State have, which is readily accessible" at vaccination centres.

When questioned about the PPS number used for treatment, Prof. O'Reilly noted "nobody has a misassigned vaccine number that I'm aware of" "whereas PPS numbers can be mixed up".

According to the Irish Hospital Consultant Association it could take 11 years to clear hospital waiting lists.

Prof. O'Reilly agreed saying it will take "more than a decade", it is "certainly a double digit number".

Listen back to Prof. O'Reilly's full interview with Eoin Beatty:

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