In response to media reports today that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly is pushing to end in-patient hospital charges, the Irish Cancer Society has said the Government must heed the proposals to help ease the financial burden on cancer patients.

Each time a patient without a medical card attends hospital for treatment they are currently charged €80 per visit, up to an annual cap of €800.

“We hear daily from patients who are overwhelmed by the cost of cancer. Our nurses have taken almost as many calls about financial issues in the first 6 months of this year compared to the entire 12-month period in 2021,” the Irish Cancer Society’s Director of Advocacy Rachel Morrogh said.

“The topics that have seen the biggest increase in calls relate to people’s ability to cope with day-to-day living expenses (134% increase) and the cost of car parking (152% increase). It’s not right that the worries and fears that naturally come with a cancer diagnosis are being compounded by constant dread and anxiety about how to pay for the next bill that comes through the door. 

“The Irish Cancer Society wants Government to do more to reduce the burden of costs on cancer patients, and the one that would have the most significant and immediate impact is the abolition of hospital in-patient charges. 

“We acknowledge the efforts of Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly in attempting to achieve action on these charges, including this week’s announcement of the abolition of in-patient charges for children aged under 16. We don’t feel that any hard-pressed cancer patients, who have no other choice than to go to hospital regularly for life-saving treatment, should have to pay this punitive charge of €80 per visit.”

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.

Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm

Roz, Cancer Nurseline