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Written Answers. - Private Hospitals' Charges.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 81. Mr. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  asked the Minister for Health Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan  the concerns, if any, he has regarding reported wide variations in private hospital charges to the VHI; and the measures, if any, he will consider to control the spiralling costs of private health care and insurance. [6836/96]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan,: Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan Limerick East): I have no function in relation to either the funding of private hospitals or the charges they set for the provision of treatment and care to their patients. Financial arrangements between health insurers and service providers are matters to be directly negotiated between the parties.

Under the Health Insurance Act, 1994, which was enacted in connection [1422] with the creation of a single market in non-life insurance, the Minister for Health is the regulatory authority for the non-prudential aspects of private medical insurance. It is not, therefore, appropriate that my Department, or I, be involved in the making of commercial arrangements between healthcare providers and insurers.

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