Vaccines chief apologizes over online reservation delays

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Marek Seer. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Head of the coroanvirus vaccine working group, Marek Seer, has apologized to the public for lengthy waiting times when booking an appointment via the online patient portal. Seer told ERR Tuesday that efforts to set up a digital 'waiting room', as vaccine appointments opened up to everyone aged 16 and upwards this week, had not been successful, with wait times of over an hour not unheard of when trying to book online.

"It must be acknowledged that our decision to place the waiting room within the patient portal, and not the digital registry, has not been a success," Seer told ERR.

"At that point in time, it seemed like a good option; looking at it now in retrospect this does not so much seem the case," he went on.

The large volume of people logging in has also caused issues for those who wish to use the portal for another purpose.

"We apologize to those users who have to wait in common order to use other patient portal services," Seer said.

Seer added that the working group had looked at transferring the waiting room from the patient portal to the digital registry, but this would not be a solution, he said.

"It would take so long to do so that we would not resolve the current deadlock. It must also be taken into account that the digital registry is strongly inter-connected with the IT systems of the healthcare institutions, and therefore there are no quick solutions," Seer noted, adding that the current, lengthy wait lines should be dealt with in the next few days and, in the meantime, appointments can be made over the phone, prescriptions can be viewed via the state portal here, while coronavirus test results can be viewed via private sector firm SYBLAB's test.me page.

The vaccine rollout saw all over 40s eligible from last 30, to over 30s from Saturday, to 16 and over from Monday evening. The issue as reported is with the digital systems and not vaccine supplies or healthcare staff.

Seer and the working group he heads up were appointed almost a month ago to the day, ahead of increased supplies of coronavirus vaccines and plans for majority vaccination through summer.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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