Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Alan Shatter

Question:

542 Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of elective operations carried out in private hospitals or on patients occupying private beds in public hospitals in each of the past ten years; and the percentage of these operations when compared to those undertaken in public hospitals under the general medical services. [1252/99]

My Department has no statistics on activity in private hospitals. In relation to public hospitals, data are not readily available in a way which identifies clearly persons undergoing elective operations who occupy private beds. Following is information on the percentage of principal surgical procedures carried out on medical card holders versus non-medical card holders for the years 1994 to 1997 – the years for which the most complete data are available – in public hospitals. The table should be interpreted in the light of the fact that the most recent statistics available indicate that 32.4 per cent of the population have a medical card.

It is emphasised however that the fact that a person is a medical card holder does not necessarily mean that he or she has sought treatment as a public patient. Likewise the fact that a person is not a medical card holder does not necessarily mean that he or she sought treatment as a private patient. Such a person may instead have availed of his or her entitlement to public hospital services.

Principal Surgical Procedures*

By Medical Card Procedure

Elective Admissions Only 1994-97**

Year

Patient Type

Non Medical Card Holder

Medical Card Holder

Total

% Medical Card Holder

1994

Daycases

64,270

32,443

96,713

33.55%

Inpatients

61,174

43,204

104,378

41.39%

Total

125,444

75,647

201,091

37.62%

1995

Daycases

75,162

37,910

113,072

33.53%

Inpatients

59,870

44,783

104,653

42.79%

Total

135,032

82,693

217,725

37.98%

1996

Daycases

77,687

47,238

124,925

37.81%

Inpatients

56,385

46,617

103,002

45.26%

Total

134,072

93,855

227,927

41.18%

1997

Daycases

80,687

54,551

135,238

40.34%

Inpatients

55,404

46,108

101,512

45.42%

Total

136,091

100,659

236,750

42.52%

In approximately 2 per cent of cases the medical card status was unknown. These cases are not included in this analysis.
Source: Hospital In-Patient Enquiry, 1994-97.
*Principal surgical procedure refers to the main surgical procedure undergone by a person who has had one or more surgical procedures. Each hospitalisation is counted separately in the above statistics.
**The coverage of the Hospital In-Patient Enquiry has been gradually extended over the years. Only for the years 1994-97 is the most complete and comparable data available.