Written Answers - Health Services.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 666 No. 1

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  207.  Deputy Denis Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the reason persons who have an over 70s medical card and VHI cover are not entitled to convalescent care in a public bed following discharge from hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38581/08]

  208.  Deputy Denis Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the reason a private patient is not entitled to convalescent care in a public bed following discharge from hospital; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38582/08]

  209.  Deputy Denis Naughten  Information on Denis Naughten  Zoom on Denis Naughten   asked the Minister for Health and Children  Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney   the reason a person with a pre-booked admission for surgery has to make their own arrangements for convalescent care following discharge. [38583/08]

Minister for Health and Children (Deputy Mary Harney): Information on Mary Harney  Zoom on Mary Harney  I propose to take Questions Nos. 207 to 209, inclusive, together.

Entitlement to health services in Ireland is primarily based on residency and means. Any person, regardless of nationality, who is accepted by the Health Service Executive (HSE) as being ordinarily resident in Ireland is entitled to either full eligibility (Category 1, i.e. medical card holders) or limited eligibility (Category 2) for health services.

Persons in Category 1 are entitled to a full range of services free of charge including, inter alia, all in-patient public hospital services in public wards including consultant services. Persons in Category 2 (non medical card holders) are also entitled, inter alia, to all in-patient public hospital services in public wards including consultant services but subject to certain charges.

Individuals who opt to avail of in-patient services privately shall be deemed not to have full or limited eligibility for those in-patient services. In-patient care includes convalescent care. Membership of a health insurance scheme does not, of itself, imply private status.

If the Deputy is aware of a specific case in this context, he may wish to raise it directly with the Health Service Executive in order to have the matter investigated.


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