Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 22 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Private Health Care.
Mr. McCormack Mr. McCormack
147. Mr. McCormack asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her plans to publish a comprehensive review of private health care in the Irish health care system, which includes looking at cost benefit analysis, value for money, tax incentives, tax concessions and its influence on the cost of private health insurance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35397/05]
Mr. Rabbitte Mr. Rabbitte
186. Mr. Rabbitte asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children her health policy position on increased private sector involvement in health care here in view of comments made by the CEO of the Health Service Executive, Professor Drumm on his belief that health care services should be provided by the public system as much as possible and that it would be disastrous if it was not. [35483/05]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
 Ms Harney: I propose to take Questions Nos. 147 and 186 together.
Private health care is a long established feature of the system of health care provision in Ireland and acts as a strong complement to the publically funded system. Private health care provision spans from general practitioner services through private beds in public hospitals and private hospitals to private nursing homes.
The Government is committed to exploring fully the scope for the private sector to provide additional capacity in the health system. The key objective is to provide the required extra capacity, whether this is in the public or private sector. A number of Government policies-initiatives support the co-existence of public and private health care such as: the designation of private and semi-private beds in public hospitals; income tax relief on private health insurance premiums; income tax relief on medical-dental expenses; National Treatment Purchase Fund sources capacity in private hospitals for public patients; and my initiatives to build private hospitals on public sites thereby freeing up beds for public patients.
Dáil Éireann 610 Written Answers. Private Health Care.