Wednesday, 10 May 2000
Dáil Eireann Debate
273. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Health and Children the cost implications for the hospital services as a result of the recently introduced price increase for the supply to hospitals introduced by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. [12342/00]
Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): Under the Establishment Order of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service, IBTS, the service charges for the blood components, blood products and services it provides to hospitals. The cost of such components, products and services increased by 2% on 1 January 2000 to take account of general cost increases in the health services during the year and the ongoing implementation of the service's development programme. Health agencies received a 2% increase in their overall non-pay allocation for 2000 to cover price increases such as this.
 The Deputy may, however, be referring to the 48% rise in the price of blood and blood components on 1 January 1999. This level of increase ensured a substantial additional investment in the service in order to meet the highest international standards in transfusion. The additional income was used to fund, inter alia, the full year costs of the blood safety programme including the costs of the new blood tests, PCR and leucodepletion, the additional costs of ensuring regulatory compliance, the additional costs of implementing the service's reorganisation plan and the additional costs of implementing the service's consultant manpower, quality assurance and training plans.
My Department allocated approximately £6.4 million additional targeted funding to health agencies in their allocations for 1999 to cover the increased cost of blood and blood components. This increase was in addition to the general increase allocated to them to cover non-pay price rises during the year.
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