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26th Apr 2022

Hospital fees for children under 16 likely to be scrapped, Donnelly says

Kat O'Connor

This will help a lot of families.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly wants hospital fees for under 16s to be scrapped.

Cabinet has agreed with the Health Minister and approved the proposal this afternoon.

He hopes this change will alleviate the financial strain parents are currently facing.

The proposal recommends stopping fees for overnight stays and day cases.

However, fees for A&E visits are not included in Minister Donnelly’s proposal.

He wants to scrap the in-patient charge of €80 per night for all under 16s.

Minister Donnelly has welcomed the move.

“This proposal is yet another important step towards delivering universal healthcare in Ireland.

“This legislation will ease the financial burden of parents/guardians when bringing their child to the hospital for in-patient care.”

The Minister for Health also believes it will ensure that cost “is not a significant consideration” when children need in-hospital treatment.

He said their current goal is Universal Healthcare for all.

“This is another important step towards affordability.”

“It will make our public hospitals free for children when they access treatment as a public patient.

He hopes all of these charges will be dropped by the summer.

Donnelly told reporters that parents shouldn’t have to worry about money when they have a sick child in hospital.

The last thing a parent of a sick child needs is the stress of paying a hospital bill.

Minister Donnelly says he understands how much pressure these parents are under.

There’s no doubt this legislation will ease the stress many families are currently facing in Ireland.

It currently costs €80 per night for public in-patient care in a hospital.

However, there is an €800 limit if a patient has been in hospital for 10 nights within a year.

Medical cardholders and other certain specific classes of persons are exempt.