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Abolished hospital charges monumental for access and affordability

29th September 2022 - Colm Burke TD

The removal of hospital inpatient charges for all public patients is a monumental step towards ensuring greater access and affordability, two Fine Gael politicians have said.

Fine Gael spokesperson for Health, Deputy Colm Burke, noted the impact of the measure which was first introduced in last year’s budget which removed these chargers for children under 16.

Deputy Burke said, “The past two years have been exceptionally challenging for our health service and this week’s budget has acknowledged that by responding with a record level of funding.

“Budget 2023 will see €23.4 billion invested in our public health system to tackle long waiting lists, extend core services and recruit more staff.

The removal of hospital inpatient charges is something myself and my Fine Gael colleagues have been calling for to ease the cost-of-living challenges people are facing and put money back in people’s pockets” said Deputy Burke.

Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson on Health, Senator Martin Conway, added, “A day inpatient charge of €80 is generally imposed on patients who do not have a medical card. With this move, people will save up to €800 per year.

“A lot of families and individuals are struggling to meet rising costs and when an unforeseen event or a medical emergency occurs, this can become even more challenging.

“The further attention to long waiting lists within Budget 2023 will provide further relief for families across Ireland. The Waiting List Action Plan will be implemented this year to tackle this issue. The additional €225 extends the overall package is €443 million.

“We know times are tough and these measures will afford easier access to vital public services for families,” concluded Senator Conway.

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