A family was charged €813 per night for their deceased father’s stay on a hospital trolley. The man, a patient at University Hospital Limerick, stayed three nights in the hospital. Two of them on a trolley in a corridor. The man’s family is not querying the charge for the man’s last night in a private room.
It’s understood that the man had private health insurance. The hospital claims that in-patient charges are based on the Health Act. However, Independent TD Michael McNamara said the Health Act provides for private patients to be billed for stays in rooms but that “a corridor is not a room.”
Addressing his concerns to Tánaiste Mr Vardakar, the deputy asked for it to be established that a patient should not be billed for a two night stay on a hospital trolley. Mr Vardakar said that private patients in public hospitals pay a fee “not just for the bed”. Adding “perhaps it would be sensible for the HSE not to charge for the first night if the patient ends up spending that night on a trolley or sitting on a chair.”
Deputy Mc Namara warned that this case will inevitably end up in court if the government continued to contend that a trolley in a corridor is the same as being in a multi-occupancy hospital room.