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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 24 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 14

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Road Traffic Act, 1961: Recovery of Hospital Costs.


andMr. S.D. Barrett asked the Minister for Health if he will state in respect of each of the last three years the amounts recovered by (a) voluntary hospitals and (b) public hospitals under section 119 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, from persons whose negligence caused traffic accidents in which other persons were injured to an extent necessitating hospitalisation or from the insurance companies concerned; if he is satisfied that health and hospital authorities are adequately availing of the powers to recover such costs; if he will draw the attention of such authorities and the Hospitals Commission to the importance of recovering such expenses so as to relieve ratepayers and taxpayers; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Section 119 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, provided for reimbursing voluntary hospitals the expenses of treatment and maintenance of persons injured in road accidents. It did not apply to local authority hospitals. The section was never brought into force, and was repealed by the Road Traffic Act, 1968. The reasons for not bringing the section into force were complex and were brought out in a debate in Seanad Éireann on its repeal (Seanad Debates, 6th June, 1968, Vol. 65, Cols., 246 to 263).

The more general issue of the recovery by health authorities of costs in accident cases has been raised during the debate on the Second Stage of the Health Bill, 1969. I propose to deal with it when replying to the debate.