The HSE has started the roll-out of a new online booking system for Covid-19 tests.
From today, Tuesday 1st June 2021, people living in the vicinity of the Letterkenny test centre will be able to log on to the online system and book their Covid-19 test up to 24 hours in advance.
Work is currently underway to extend this online booking facility to other Covid-19 test centres around the country.
According to Niamh O’Beirne, HSE National Lead for Testing and Tracing making testing as accessible as possible is a key part of the HSE’s management of Covid-19 and helping to protect our communities.
“At the end of March this year we opened walk-in testing sites in a number of locations and since then, walk-in testing is now available at all of our Covid-19 test centres across the country. While we initially targeted these walk-in sites at asymptomatic people, the recent cyberattack on the HSE’s IT systems, has meant that the GP system Healthlink is unavailable, and we have broadened the scope of our walk-in testing sites to include those who are symptomatic.
“This online system will help make Covid-19 testing more available and will mean that in these three locations (Letterkenny and two in Dublin, Citywest and Swords), those seeking a Covid-19 test – whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, can attend a walk-in centre or book their test online in advance. Once the Healthlink system is restored those with symptoms and those who require medical advice will also be able to get their test referral via their GP.
“The Covid-19 test online booking system will initially facilitate booking a Covid-19 test in three of the existing static test centres. Piloting this booking system in three locations, will allow us to learn and improve both the system and the flow of people through the testing centres, if necessary, before we roll it out in other locations around the country. The online system will have an agreed capacity; however, it will be able to adjust in real time to demand and will have some flexibility to increase or decrease appointment capacity. We will continuously monitor the demand for Covid-19 testing via walk-in, the online system and GP referral once that resumes, and close contact test referrals.
“We will be able to adjust the availability of testing at individual testing centres as demand requires. Managing large numbers attending for testing has been a challenge in some sites and the development of this online booking system will help minimise the numbers of people queuing in centres for a test at any given time”.
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Posted: 10:52 am June 1, 2021