While I think its a good idea to use a single nontransferable ID to identify a patient and allow them to interact with the state social services, but why create a “new” numerical system. Surely the PPS number already is such a unique non transferable identifier that could be used.
Why create two non transferable unique number systems to interact with the state?
Cause it’s easier to (i) generate 5 million new random codes and maintain a new separate database than it is to (ii) have a quick vote in Leinster House and change the legislation so you can use your PPS number.
I’d laugh it they just sent out peoples PPS numbers and no one noticed.
Why Irish people are so concerned about the privacy of their PPS number I’ve no idea. TWC, ConEd, my banks, my employer, the DMV, my insurer, my pension provider, and even my landlord, all have my social security number.
As far as I know when the PPS system was introduced in the 1990s it was intended that this would be the one number that would be used from birth to death for all interactions with the state. A lot of time and money was spent cleaning up the data systems between social welfare and revenue. The key was that the data was verified and that the allocation of new numbers was controlled. However over time the controls around the allocation of new numbers were lost/disregarded for a variety of reasons resulting in one person potentially having more than one number. The system cannot then be used for health.
In a lot of cases it was to abuse the privileges of the state as you put it Terra, but it also happened if someone retired and then took up employment again a second PPS number was issued (this was sorted out a long time ago and the PPS system has been cleaned up quite a bit since then as far as I know)
Don’t know if they are going to link the health number to the PPS system I thought they were two separate systems, although it doesn’t make sense that they would not be linked.
Edit: apparently the PPS was intended for use in the public service and in publically funded service therefore can’t be used in health as information will be shared across a variety of services both public and private
They could ask eircode to create these new numbers…those guys have a super duper random number generator!!!
Like above, I cannot understand for the life of me why the PPS numbers can’t be used. More Central waste of hard earned tax revenues, probably leading to a crap system that won’t work in some hospitals followed by an enquiry/Govt committee looking into what went wrong
At some point we will need to have a government CTO type position, who actually understands these kinds of systems and who can tell people to cop on when they suggest spending millions on a new random number generator.
At least we’re not particularly any worse than most other countries - wasting money on IT projects is pretty much international best practice…
It said on the news the other night that PPS numbers can’t be used for “privacy” issues.
I just don’t buy this.
Next time you are in hospital, look at your patient chart just inside the front cover where you will find your “details” Hospital Number, name, address, DOB, insurance status, NOK etc etc but printed right there will also be your PPS number. Its the page that allows you to be identified.
All medical notes and communications are at some level confidential and rightly so.
Other countries have a national ID card with your equivalent of PPS number printed on it.
I have two PPS numbers. I left the state for a few years to work abroad, having already worked here. When I returned my new employer asked if I was registered for tax - I said no (which was true as I had left without intending to come back and had reclaimed my tax) and I was issued with a new PPS number. It caused me grief for a few years e.g. trying to get free dental treatment I had difficulty adding together my years of PRSI with number A and my years with number B - I managed to do it and it seems my situation was not that unusual. My wife also had my number with a W - don’t know if that’s still the case.
I think the PPS system is in a bit of a mess and nobody is sure how unique the numbers actually are and that’s why they’ve chosen not to use it. In this case I think the decision is sensible.