Understanding the experiences of inpatient charges and debt collection

Man in hospital

What is this research about?

The Irish Cancer Society would like to carry out research with cancer patients who have incurred hospital in-patient charges as part of their cancer treatment. For patients without a medical card or private health insurance there is a cost of €80 per visit up to €800 per year. For this research, the Irish Cancer Society is specifically interested in hearing from patients who have been contacted by debt collection agencies or legal representatives because of fees incurred for treatment.

The research study would involve you taking part in either a one-to-one interview or a small focus group with a professional researcher. The interview/focus group itself will last approximately one hour and will be relaxed in nature. It will be held remotely via telephone/video call (to comply with the latest Covid-19 restrictions) at a time and date in the near future.

There are no right or wrong answers, all we would like is your honest opinion. While we would very much like to hear your views, you do not have to take part if you do not want to, it is entirely up to you.

Who conducts the research?

An independent research company called Ipsos MRBI will be conducting the interviews and focus group. They conduct research across all aspects of Irish society and have particular experience of conducting similar research in the past.

What happens to the information I give?

The interviews and focus group will be recorded, with your permission. Your identity will remain anonymous during the research. The findings will then be reviewed by Ipsos MRBI and a report will be prepared, based on the findings across all interviews.

You may be asked permission to include your experience as a case study, however we will only include your case study if you provide consent to do so. If you do agree to include your case study in the report, it will remain anonymous. The report will be used to explain to various audiences about the impact that attempts to recoup in-patient charges via debt collection agencies has had on people’s lives.

Why should I take part?

It is very important to hear from people about their experiences of receiving requests for payment of in-patient charges and subsequent contact by debt collection agencies or legal representatives. The feedback you provide can help the Irish Cancer Society understand the experience and potentially advocate for change in the management of these fees.

What should I do next?

Please think about whether or not you would like to be involved in this research. If you decide that you would like to be considered as a potential respondent, please email Ipsos MRBI on IE-UU-ICSInPatientStudy@ipsos.com with your name and contact details. We will then be in touch to tell you more about the research and confirm your eligibility to take part.


Thank you for your participation, it is greatly appreciated.

For more information

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01 231 0500