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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 16 Feb 1967

Vol. 226 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Parental Liability for Hospital Treatment.


(South Tipperary) asked the Minister for Health the parental liability for cost of treatment of his son in a public local authority ward of a farmer over £60 valuation where the son assists him on the farm and is (a) under 21 years and (b) over 21 years of age.

If the Deputy has a particular case in mind, I would be glad to help him if he sends me particulars.

In general terms the position is that, under the Health Acts, an adult person is one aged 16 years and over. The adult may receive hospital services under the Health Acts if he fits into one of the categories of eligible persons, that is, if he is insured under the Social Welfare Acts, if his yearly means are less than £1,200, if he is a farmer whose valuation is £60 or less, or, if he is outside these limits, his case is one involving hardship. This person could have hospital services in a public ward of a health institution at a charge not exceeding 10/- a day. What he would actually be charged within this limit is a matter for the health authority. Whether the money to meet the bill, if any, would be wholly or partly supplied by parents is a matter for the family.

A child under 16 would normally be a dependant of his parents and they would be liable for any hospital charges. I might add that many children have a statutory right to receive hospital treatment without any charge whatever.