A new nationwide digital registration system for doctor's visits has gone online. The system is part of the national patient portal, Digilugu.ee. Almost two decades into Estonia's e-state success story, the new addition finally patches up a hole in the country's digital infrastructure that, considering the ease with which things could be done elsewhere, was a "disgrace," MP and Social Affairs Committee chairman, Tõnis Mölder said.
Mölder pointed out that getting e.g. specialist appointments was in stark contrast to many other aspects of life in Estonia. Where things as complex as starting a new business could be done online and relatively easily, to see a specialist people so far still had to first find out who and when to call before even making it on the waiting list.
All regional, central, and general hospitals have joined the digital registration system, which according to Mölder is a substantive step forward and will hopefully take the country to its next great digital success story.
Still, there is reason to be cautious, as IT systems in the healthcare sector have proven to be extremely difficult on many occasions. As long as the new addition to Digilugu.ee hasn't run under a full load, "it is not a good idea to get ahead of ourselves," Mölder said.
"For medical institutions, it certainly makes sense to join gradually, which will help prevent technical problems already at the beginning."
Private-sector medical providers are also interested in the solution, and are keen to join. Estonia's largest medical care provider outside hospitals, AS Medicum, has already confirmed they will gradually implement the system and make their time slots visible and bookable in it as well.
"All of this improves the situation for the patient, who wants help rather than to be ignorant how to get an appointment. Of course, people will still have the option of making an appointment over the phone," Mölder said.
Editor: Dario Cavegn