Dáil Éireann - Volume 486 - 28 January, 1998
Written Answers. - Out-Patient Clinics.
Mr. Ring Mr. Ring
587. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the increases relating to the day care charges at hospitals for out-patient clinics; the charges for each of the years 1996, 1997 and the proposed increased charges for 1998. [1837/98]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen) Brian Cowen
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Cowen): There is no statutory charge for attendance at out-patient clinics. I presume the Deputy is referring to the charge for a visit to an accident and emergency — A&E — department. Persons who attend a public hospital accident and emergency — A&E — department directly without having a referral note from their GP are liable for a charge of £20 which applies only to the first visit of any episode of care. A charge of £12 on this basis was levied from March 1994 to December 1997. The charge was increased to £20 with effect from 1 January 1998. The charge is applicable only to the A&E department and is not levied on referrals to an out-patient department/clinic.
There are a number of exemptions to the charge including medical card holders, women receiving services in respect of motherhood, children up to the age of six weeks and children referred for treatment from a child health clinic or school health examination. The charge may be waived if, in the opinion of the chief executive officer of the appropriate health board, payment would cause undue hardship.
Dáil Éireann 486 Written Answers. Out-Patient Clinics.