St. James’s Hospital has come under fire over its decision to deny some patients access to Blood Test services.
St. James’s Hospital is set to restrict access to its blood test services from August 21st, 2023.
Earlier this month, St James’s Hospital issued a letter to Webdoctor.ie and other General Practice clinics stating that due to “huge increases in GP workload and a lack of internal resources”, the hospital will no longer accept referrals from outside its catchment area for phlebotomy services as of August 21st.
The letter states that ‘the Laboratory does not have enough staff, space or resources to continue this level of work and is giving 6 weeks’ notice that we will no longer accept samples from GPs outside our catchment area.’
The move has been slated by webdoctor.ie who claims it “is discriminating against a large cohort of patients living locally to Saint James’ Hospital”.
Not only will the move restrict patients, but it will also cause issues for GPs.
Webdoctor.ie has now written to the Clinical Director in St. James’ Hospital to request an urgent discussion about this decision. The company is also writing to the HSE and Department of Health to request a meeting on the issue.
Dr. Sylvester Mooney, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of Webdoctor.ie, says:
“Equitable access to phlebotomy services is essential to assist in the provision of our quality GP services and it’s particularly important for the patients who cannot access a local ‘Bricks and Mortar’ GP due to long waiting lists, and who rely totally on our service for their primary healthcare needs.”
“To restrict patient access from services such as our own in favour of historical catchment areas is discriminatory. This only serves to send this healthcare system further back in time.”