Dáil Éireann - Volume 148 - 10 February, 1955
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Hospital Treatment.
Mr. Rooney Mr. Rooney
Mr. Rooney asked the Minister for Health whether he is aware that persons insured under the Social Welfare Acts are eligible for free treatment and maintenance in general hospitals but are liable for part-payment in respect of such benefits in mental hospitals, and, if so, if he will have mental hospitals placed on the same basis as general hospitals in this respect.
Minister for Health (Mr. T.F. O'Higgins) Thomas Francis (Jnr.) O'Higgins
Minister for Health (Mr. T.F. O'Higgins): The financial arrangements in regard to services provided for insured persons in mental hospitals are in strict accord with the provisions of the Health Act, 1953, and I have no power to change these arrangements. The services are available to dependents of insured persons on the same terms as apply to the insured persons themselves.
In regard to treatment services for insured persons in general hospitals, Section 15 of the Health Act, 1953, contemplated free services for such of these persons, with their dependents, as were in the lower income group, but that a charge not exceeding 6/- a day would be made for all other insured persons with their dependents. By reason of the absence of facilities and of appropriate arrangements to provide adequately for the extended  groups, I decided in July last to limit temporarily, in exercise of the powers given to me in the Health Act, 1954, the services to be made available under Section 15 to the classes already in enjoyment of them. This included insured persons who satisfied certain conditions and the free services for them previously provided by the Department of Social Welfare have since been provided by health authorities. When services under Section 15 are extended, as I hope will be possible later in the year, all insured persons, and not merely those who satisfy contribution conditions, and dependents of such persons, will be eligible for the services but, as the Health Act clearly contemplated and as I have already mentioned, a charge not exceeding 6/- a day may be made by health authorities in respect of those outside the lower income group.
Dáil Éireann 148 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Hospital Treatment.