Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (291)

Clare Daly


291. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health the reason private health clinics are seeking details of both private health insurance in addition to medical card details from persons who hold both; his views on whether the seeking of the information by them means they are claiming twice for patients with medical cards and private insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22770/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

My understanding is that the Deputy is referring to the administration of patient registration and admission in public hospitals.

The Health Act 1970 (as amended) provides that all persons ordinarily resident in the country are eligible, subject to certain charges, to public in-patient and out-patient hospital services including consultant services. All persons, irrespective of illness/condition, accessing public in-patient or out-patient services in a public hospital are liable for the relevant statutory charges, subject to a number of exemptions, including where a person is a medical cardholder.

Persons can opt to be treated privately on admission to a public hospital, irrespective of whether or not they have private health insurance. Private patients are liable for the consultants fees and hospital charges arising for that episode of care, whether paid for directly by the patient or by a health insurer on a patient's behalf.

As the matters raised by the Deputy relate to management of the patient administration system within public hospitals, I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond to the Deputy directly.