Dáil Éireann - Volume 420 - 03 June, 1992

Written Answers. - VHI Cover for Hospital Programme.

127. Mr. Howlin asked the Minister for Health if he will investigate with the VHI, the reason cover is not granted for outpatient pain management facilities which are available at St. Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin 4; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Connell): The Deputy should be aware that the question of cover is a matter for determination [1325] by the VHI Board under its rules of contract with its insured members. In relation to the specific service raised by the Deputy I understand that the Voluntary Health Insurance Board has sought and received details of the programme and that the submission was reviewed by a panel of medical experts appointed by VHI. This group was of the view that the programme is, of its nature, a clinical research project and not yet a proven therapeutic medical service. The Director of the programme was advised accordingly and it was recommended that he submit the clinical results of the programme for further review when it had operated for a period of time.