Wednesday, 22 November 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
301. Mr. Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if she has made changes in the charges which will be made in public nursing homes the in 2007 Estimates; and the charges which will apply in 2007. [39670/06]
The Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) Regulations 2005 in keeping with Section 53 of the Health Act, 1970, as amended, have provided for two different classes of persons on whom charges can be levied. Class 1 refers to people in receipt of in-patient services on premises where nursing care is provided on a 24-hour basis on those premises. In this case, a weekly charge can be levied of €120 or the weekly income of that person less €35, whichever is the lesser. Class 2 refers to people in receipt of in-patient services on premises where nursing care is not provided on a 24-hour basis on those premises. In this situation, a weekly charge can be levied of €90, or the weekly income of that person less €55 or 60% of the weekly income of that person, whichever is the lesser.
These regulations provide for the maximum charge to be levied on either class of person. The HSE has the power to reduce or waive a charge on the grounds of “undue hardship”. Under Section 1 (b) of the Health (Amendment) Act, 2005, the HSE can examine a person’s overall financial situation in view of the person’s reasonable expenditure in relation to themselves or their dependants, if any. There are no plans to change the charges which apply in nursing homes as part of the 2007 Estimates.
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