An East Clare councillor has encouraged hospitals to let individuals take personal responsibility for their medical records.

Following an address from HSE officials at a recent meeting of Clare County Council, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) questioned why the medical records of patients were not being stored electronically.

“Why does a hospital have to keep someone’s hospital records? I know it costs massive money to store them,” the Kilmurry representative stated. He remarked, “The Koran and the Bible wouldn’t be as high as some of the records”.

He suggested that for each patient, all their details would be stored on a memory stick that they would have to take personal responsibility for.

CEO of UL Hospitals Group, Colette Cowan informed the meeting that they are legally obliged to hold records for “up to many years”. She detailed that the process of establishing a national electronic record is underway and will be aided by PPS numbers.

She flagged that the current system proves to be very valuable for doctors and nurses in certain scenarios. “It is important to have a record if you come in unconscious or have nobody with you”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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