Irish Medical Organisation

Defective haemoglobin testing for blood donors

Defective haemoglobin testing for blood donors

As per our December newsletter, you will be aware the IBTS had an issue in relation to the detection of anaemia in many blood donors. The IBTS used a device for testing blood donors for anaemia between 30th June 2014 and November 2015. In November 2015 they stopped using the device, and replaced it with the older finger prick method, when they became aware that it was not effective at detecting anaemia in many blood donors.

A communication has issued to all patients who may be affected recommending that they visit their own GP if they have concerns. A copy of their press release is available here. The IBTS will refund any costs involved in the visit and in the blood tests to the patient. 

In the communication to patients IBTS state: 
We will refund you the costs involved in the visit and in the blood tests if you do go to your doctor.  Regardless of whether you are a private, medical card or doctor visit card patient, your GP may charge you for blood tests and these costs will be refunded to you.  In the event that you are anaemic, a follow up consultation may be necessary and the costs of same will be refunded to you also.  Your GP will provide you with a receipt for consultations and blood tests and this receipt should be furnished by you to the IBTS for reimbursement.”

For the GP involved the process is straightforward, you should issue a receipt to the patient for the cost of the services provided by you. The patient may then recoup the cost of the service from the IBTS by furnishing them with the receipt. Please note that it is up to the patient to recoup the costs from the IBTS and the GPs only obligation in this regard is to provide the patient with the relevant receipt(s).

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