Abolish Inpatient Charges
Inpatient charges are paid by people without a medical card who:
a) need an overnight stay in a public hospital
b) receive day treatments such as chemotherapy
This affects cancer patient significantly because every time they need to go for treatment, they pay €80. This is up to a maximum of €800 for 10 visits in a calendar year (January – December). While this cap limits the impact of the charge slightly, many patients who begin treatment towards the end of the year will pay far more than €800.
In cases of “excessive hardship”, hospitals can waive the charge, but there are no clear guidelines on this. Meanwhile, we know that if patients don’t - or can’t - pay the charges within 47 days, their case can be referred by the hospital to debt collection agencies. This is a frightening prospect for many cancer patients at vulnerable time in their lives.
The Irish Cancer Society believes that these charges are unfair on patients who are going through what can be the most physically, emotionally and financially draining period of their lives. We know the impact the costs associated with cancer has on people’s everyday lives, and most of these costs will never be reclaimed. That is why we have continually advocated to reduce the financial impact of cancer for patients, and it is why we are currently campaigning to abolish inpatient charges.