Fianna Fáil’s Health Spokesperson, Billy Kelleher TD has said that the HSE must stop charging health insurers for services and facilities when they are not provided to the patient.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting following reports in the media that health insurers are proposing to increase premiums significantly next year as a result of HSE charging policies.

“It makes no sense whatsoever for the HSE charging health insurers for services that are not being provided to the patient.”

“Just because a person has health insurance, it does not mean that the HSE can use their cover as a cash-cow.”

“If a patient uses private health services, by all means charge their insurers, but it’s wrong and immoral to levy a charge when there is no basis for it.”

“These unnecessary and incorrect charges are forcing health insurers to hike up their prices. The net result of this will be members of the public giving up their private cover and relying solely on the public health system.”

“The system is already creaking, and our Emergency Departments are facing a crisis. Additional pressure is both dangerous and short sighted.”

“This attempt at beefing up HSE revenue through dubious charging procedures with private health insurers only exacerbates the funding challenges that the Irish health system is facing, and the Department of Health must ensure that the overall system, including private patients, are not overly burdened with plugging the gap,” concluded Kelleher.