Removal of all hospitals charges must be in Budget 2023
Labour health spokesperson Duncan Smith has today said that the removal of all in-patient hospital changes must be included in Budget 2023.
Speaking on the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, Deputy Smith said:
“Any measures that will reduce the cost of healthcare is to be broadly welcomed. However, we believe the abolition of in-patient charges for children is only a small, albeit positive and progressive, step forward from the Government at a time when there is a huge amount of work to be done to reduce the cost of health care for all our people.
“The Government must move quickly to completely abolish inpatient and parking charges for all public patients in Budget 2023 and ensure this funding is replaced for hospitals that need it, as provided for in our alternative budgets and recommended by the Irish Cancer Society. We must also end the intolerable practice of debt collectors pursuing cancer patients.
“The department of finance cost the removal of these charges at 30 million which is a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the spend on health but one that would make a major difference for thousands of people suffering from the cost of living crisis.
“The reality is the Government has been dragging its feet on reducing the cost of healthcare and it needs to do far more to reduce the burden on people trying to access basic healthcare. Abolishing all hospital changes in Budget 2023 will be a good place to start.”