Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Hospitalisation of Injured Persons.

9.

Mr. Ryan

asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce legislation to deprive persons whose negligence is responsible for injuries to poor persons of the right to have the hospitalisation of such poor person paid by health authorities, having regard to the fact that the Health Act, 1953 imposed on taxpayers and ratepayers a liability for such hospitalisation, which formerly rested on the parties whose negligence caused the injuries and was paid in the main by insurance companies.

The answer is in the negative.

This matter has been considered in recent years, particularly in connection with the enactment of the Road Traffic Act, 1961.

Persons injured in accidents form only a small minority of those whose treatment in hospital is the responsibility of health authorities and I do not accept that the relatively insignificant impost on the ratepayers and taxpayers involved would justify a departure from the present position.

Mr. Ryan

Is the Minister in a position to say what proportion of claims would be covered by the Health Acts?

The Deputy had better put that down as a separate question and he will get a reply which will be a courteous one.

Mr. Ryan

Will the Minister accuse me of having access to a confidential document?

No, that is not confidential.

Mr. Ryan

No, he would not be worried about that.

The Deputy must have had a sore heel when that remark got home.

Mr. Ryan

The Minister has sore feet.