Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (866)

Louise O'Reilly


866. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if he will address matters regarding a Comptroller and Auditor General report (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35026/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The gross cost of acute hospital care as set out in the HSE Annual Report and Financial Statements 2017 incorporates expenditure in relation to all hospital services including emergency departments, inpatient, day case, outpatient services and training programmes for doctors and nurses.

The private patient income reported in the annual financial statements only relates to income invoiced by statutory hospitals. Voluntary hospitals are funded on a net expenditure grant basis by the HSE. The voluntary hospitals only receive funding for expenditure after all income, including private patient income, is taken into account.

There are no private charges by any hospitals in relation to emergency department attendances or out-patient services. In 2017 per the HSE’s published December 2017 Management Data Report there were 1.4m emergency presentations and 3.3m outpatient attendances in the acute hospital system.

The public/private patient split referenced in the C&AG ‘Report on the Accounts of the Public Service 2017’ refers to the 1.7 million inpatient and day case patients discharged from all acute hospitals (statutory and voluntary) in 2017 as reported in the Healthcare Pricing Office 2017 Annual Report. One million of these discharges related to day case patients and 0.6m related to in-patients. Varying costs are applicable in relation to the these different patient categories as reflected in the rate levels applied under the Health (Amendment) Act 2013 as set out below.

Hospital Category

Single Occupancy Rate

Multi Occupancy Rate

Day Case

Hospital specified in the 5th schedule of the Act




Hospital specified in the 6th schedule of the Act




These private in-patient charges take account of all the services which a public hospital provides, for example, accommodation, nursing, diagnostics (such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI, etc.) and other overheads and maintenance costs.

The rates currently applied were set for the introduction of the legislation in 2014 and reflected the ‘fully absorbed’ economic cost.