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Updated: Tallaght Hospital patients told to call premium line for blood test appointments

In a note issued to GP-referred patients, the hospital said calls to the number will be charged at the premium rate of €2.03 per call.

Updated following statement from Tallaght Hospital (9.58am)

TALLAGHT HOSPITAL IN Dublin has issued a notice to GP-referred patients that they must now make an appointment for blood tests, offering an option to do so online or through a premium-rate telephone number.

Up until now the hospital has had a walk in clinic for GP-referred patients who could just take a ticket in the waiting room and wait for their number to be called.

The notice, handed out to patients last week, says that all appointments for GP-referred blood tests will have to be through appointment from 8 April this year.

(Image: Mark Finnegan)

It says appointments can be made, free or charge, online at swiftQueue.com which shows the number of appointments available each morning, afternoon and evening.

However patients who wish to make an appointment by phone or who don’t have access to the internet will now be required to call a premium charge number at a cost of €2.03 per call.

Tallaght Hospital has released a statement on the matter, confirming that its Adult Phlebotomy Department would be introducing an appointment system that aimed to “significantly improve the existing patient experience through streamlining the service and reducing the waiting time”.

The introduction of the new system will mean patients will be given” precise appointment times and will no longer have to ensure lengthy waiting times before having blood tests done”, it continued.

The Hospital said that, where patients do not have access to the internet, bookings may be made on their behalf by their GP. “Where this option is not suitable telephone access for bookings is also offered,” it said.

A flat charge per call of €2.03 (landline) and between €2.03 and €2.50 (mobile) will apply. Callers will not pay any more than this amount if using this option which is one of three ways of booking the test.

Hospital management said that it would not benefit from the charges, and that the initiative was discussed in advance and supported by the hospitals local GP Liaison Committee.

Patients will continue to receive the service from Tallaght Hospital free of charge.

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