Written Answers. - Hospital Charges.

Breeda Moynihan-Cronin

Question:

326 Ms B. Moynihan-Cronin asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of occasions since 1997 on which the cost of an overnight stay for a public patient in a hospital was increased; the dates on which these increases took place; the level of increase in each case; the current charge for an overnight stay in hospital for a public patient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10964/03]

Increases in respect of inpatient public hospital charges since 1997 are as follows:

Regulations Effective From

Daily Charge

Maximum Amount in any12 Consecutive Months

1 January 1998

From £20 to £25

From £200 to £250

1 January 2000

Increased to £26 (subsequently revised to euro equivalent €33)

Increased to £260 (subsequently revised to euro equivalent €330

1 August 2002

Increased to €36

Increased to €360

1 January 2003

Increased to €40

Increased to €400

Under arrangements for public hospital services introduced in June 1991, everyone, regardless of income is entitled to public hospital and public consultant services subject only to modest statutory charges, from which medical card holders are exempt. At present the public hospital statutory inpatient charge in respect of each day during which a person is maintained is €40 per night, subject to a maximum of €400 in any 12 month period.