Thursday, 22 February 2018

Ceisteanna (149)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

149. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Health his views on whether it is fair for haemochromatosis patients in rural areas to be billed €80 per venesection or phlebotomy therapy in hospitals when patients in St James's hospital, Dublin 8 are not charged; the reason it is not a free treatment in all hospitals; if he will address this discrimination and make it a free service to all haemochromatosis patients that do not hold a medical card; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9199/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Health Act 1970 (as amended) provides that all people ordinarily resident in Ireland are entitled, subject to certain charges, to public in-patient hospital services including consultant services and to public out-patient hospital services. Under Section 52 of the Health Act 1970, as amended by Section 12 of the Health (Amendment) Act 2013, a person who has been referred to a hospital for an in-patient service, including that provided on a day case basis, will have to pay the statutory daily charge, currently €80 per day, up to a maximum of €800 per year. On this basis, where venesection is classed as a day case procedure and is not carried out in an out-patient setting, the public in-patient charge applies.

My Department is currently considering the issue of the application of the public in-patient charge of €80 for venesection in Acute Hospitals as well as broader issues in relation to the treatment of patients with Hereditary Haemochromatosis. A meeting involving relevant personnel in the HSE and the Department of Health is being arranged in that regard.