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**