Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (1609)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

1609. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Health the estimated full year cost of abolishing accident and emergency charges. [33547/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Health (Out-Patient Charges) Regulations 2013, S.I. No. 45 of 2013, set the charge made for services provided at an Emergency Department. There are a number of exemptions to the charge, including where a person attends his or her GP and is referred to the ED, where attendance results in admission as an in-patient or where services are made available in respect of a prescribed disease or disability to children under 16 years of age. The Regulations provide that the charge shall only made in respect of the first occasion the service is provided in relation to each episode of care. The full list of exemptions from the ED charge, is set out in Regulation (3) of the S.I. No. 45 of 2013. Currently the ED charge is set at €100.

The accident and emergency charge is recorded by the HSE as Out-Patient charges.  In 2018 the HSE reported Out-Patient charges income in hospitals of  €18.6m.  This amount is the estimated full year cost of abolishing emergency department charges.