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New COVID testing charges by private hospitals a disgrace - David Cullinane TD

3 July, 2020 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson David Cullinane TD said the imposition of new charges of between €75 and €250 for patients before they can attend private hospitals was a disgrace. 

The Waterford TD said it is all the more galling given the State has just completed a near €300m deal with private hospitals.

Teachta Cullinane said:

“All healthcare settings, including private hospitals, have a responsibility to keep people safe. Reports of the imposition of charges for COVID testing is an act of bad faith by private hospitals.

“These hospitals benefited from a very lucrative deal with the state over the last few months. While all health care settings will incur costs to meet public health guidelines these costs should be absorbed by the hospitals and not passed on to patients.

“Many families are forced to take out private health insurance not by choice but because they cannot depend on the public system. Imposing additional charges for COVID testing is appalling and must be reversed. To add insult to injury the costs may not be met by health insurers.

“We need a single tier health service where people are treated on the basis of health need. The for-profit health care system will always seek to increase charges to boost profits.

“The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly needs to intervene. Patients should not have to pay these additional charges and profits should not come before the health of patients. Costs of COVID testing should be borne by the hospitals and not passed on to patients and families.”

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