I understand that following contact from officials in my Department, the Deputy has confirmed that at this time he is only concerned with payments made to private hospitals and not to other private health providers.
The original arrangement with the private hospitals ran from April – June 2020, where, by way of Government Decision, the HSE acquired access to the totality of private hospital capacity. Under this arrangement, all 18 private hospitals signed up to centrally negotiated Heads of Terms and 100% of their capacity (including ICU) was made available to the State. Following the termination of this agreement in June 2020, the Government mandated the HSE to seek to agree with the private hospitals a new arrangement which would provide the HSE with access to private hospital capacity to include a safety net arrangement for any further surge of Covid-19 cases.
At the end of January 2021 all 18 Private Hospitals signed a Safety Net 2 agreement to provide additional hospital capacity to the HSE to deal with the surge in Covid-19. The agreement remains in place to help deal with any further surge in the pandemic that occurs this year and a variation was used to deal with the impact of the cyber attack in May this year.
The HSE has advised that the following payments were made to Private Hospitals in respect of the three safety net agreements. In 2020 a total payments of €288.24 million were made under Safety Net 1. To date in 2021 a further €3.22 million was paid under SN 1 and €90.31 million under SN 2 and 3 giving a total year to date of €93.53 million. Giving an overall total to date of €381.77 million.
In relation to the National Treatment Purchase Fund, it has advised me that in 2020 out of a total expenditure to both private and public hospitals of €70,474,497, €22,957,536 was paid to private health care providers. This information is based on data sourced from their Annual Audited Financial Statements. The NTPF has advised that 2021 financial date has not been provided as the financial statements have not yet been audited. Its total budget for 2021 is €130 million.