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The health ministry plans to delay the comprehensive introduction of a system to use My Number social security and taxation identification cards as public health insurance cards, officials said Thursday.

The ministry had planned to launch the online insurance eligibility confirmation system nationwide in late March. However, during the trial run that began at selected medical institutions and pharmacies on March 4, patients’ information could not be confirmed in some cases.

Under the system, medical institutions or pharmacies scan the My Number cards of patients with a special card reader and use facial recognition technology to verify their identity to check treatment eligibility.

A total of 54 facilities in 24 prefectures have participated in the trial so far.

In the trial, there were instances where patients’ information on My Number cards didn’t match details on public health insurance cards and where the system insisted patients’ information had not been registered.

The errors are believed to have been due to mistakes by health insurance associations in entering members’ information.

The ministry plans to gradually increase the number of participating facilities while conducting checks on the correct registration of user information.

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