Cabinet look to abolish inpatient charges at public hospitals

The Health Minister says the abolition of inpatient charges at public hospitals is to bring Ireland closer to universal healthcare.

There’s currently an annual cap of €800 a year – charged at €80 a day.

Stephen Donnelly says the proposals, being brought to Cabinet this morning, would come at a cost of ‘many millions’ to the State and he hopes it will it will be in place by April.

He says the charges put an added strain on patients who are already sick.

“The Irish Cancer Society have been advocating for this measure for many years, that people who are suffering with cancer who are going through treatment, not only do they have to deal with all of that but then they get hit with a bill.

“We’ve heard stories of hospitals retaining debt collection agencies to recoup this money, and it’s just something we need to see the end of.”

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