Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has said he is ‘baffled’ at reports today that the HSE West has agreed to write of millions of euro owed to it by private health insurance companies.
Deputy Calleary commented, “At a time when health services in this region are experiencing severe cutbacks due to budget constraints, it is extremely troubling to learn that around €6 million euro owed to the HSE West by private health insurance companies may now not be paid.
“On the one hand the HSE and Minister for Health tell us that they have no choice but to shut down nursing home beds, close down the A & E in Roscommon, enforce a ban on re-recruitment, cancel ambulance transfers for cancer and dialysis patients and implement significant cuts at smaller hospitals in our region. On the other hand it now appears that the HSE West is willing to forgo collecting payments of up to €6 million euro.
“This is a significant lump sum that could make a huge difference to the provision of health services in Mayo. This week alone, the HSE is beginning to shut down a total of 59 nursing home beds in Mayo. I find it incomprehensible that simple paperwork problems are leading to our health service losing out on millions of euro that could have kept these open.
“This is just another example of needless waste in our health services directly impacting on patients. It is simply unacceptable that a failure by consultants to take the time to fill out the necessary paper work could lead to such dramatic loses in revenue. If our region alone has lost around €6 million, the question is how big are the losses nationwide?
“The Minister for Health James Reilly seized control of the HSE and is now making the decisions about our health services. I am calling for a full explanation from Minister Reilly about the extent of this problem and what he is doing to tackling it. This wasteful situation cannot continue.”