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Hospital Charges

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 16 November 2021

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Questions (496)

Emer Higgins


496. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Health the costs incurred by each public hospital in contracting external debt collection agencies to pursue unpaid statutory charges in each of the years 2013 to 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [55522/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Patient charges are a key element of the overall funding envelope of the Irish health system and are taken into account when agreeing the Annual Estimates and the subsequent preparation of the HSE’s annual National Service Plan.

These charges typically include:

- Out-patient charges;

- In-patient charges; and

- Long-term stay charges.

Certain cohorts of people may be exempt from some or all of these charges.

In addition, patients who opt for private in-patient services in public hospitals are liable for a range of private in-patient charges. There are no exemptions from these charges.

Non collection of debts owed directly impacts on the affordability of services provided by the Health Service Executive in any year. It is therefore incumbent on the HSE to take all reasonable steps to pursue amounts owed for services delivered. Debt collection agencies are engaged when normal billing arrangements have been unsuccessful.

The operational detail of this question is a matter for the HSE and I have asked them to respond to you directly in relation to that detail.