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A very good deal for private hospitals could be a very bad deal for the taxpayer - Louise O'Reilly

19 April, 2020 - by Louise O'Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health Louise O'Reilly TD has raised concerns about the deal struck between the HSE and private hospitals, saying that the State has agreed a minimum payment of at least €345 million but has agreed no maximum price.

She said:

"Bed capacity in the public health system has been a major challenge for some time, and supplementing this capacity with private hospital beds in light of the Covid-19 pandemic was the correct decision to make.

"However, the contractual arrangement that the HSE have entered into - insofar as they and the Minister for Health will reveal - illustrate that this is a very good deal for private hospitals, but potentially a very bad deal for the taxpayer.

"A minimum cost of at least €345 million has been agreed, but no maximum price has been set.

"The reality is that we don't know what the final cost of this deal will be, but it will be much higher than the Minister and the HSE have acknowledged publicly at this point.

"On top of all this, it is not certain what level of capacity is being utilised in these hospitals to the benefit of public patients as no figures have been provided.

"The Minister for Health needs to publish these numbers and the full details of the projected cost of this deal without delay."

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