Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has welcomed Government approval for the General Scheme of the Health (Exemption for Children from Public In-Patient Charges) Bill 2022.
The Bill proposes to abolish both overnight and day case public in-patient charges for children, by removing the existing acute statutory in-patient charge of €80 per night for all children less than 16 years of age in all public hospitals.
Following publication of the new legislation, Deputy Brendan Smith commented: “I am delighted to see Government approval to publish the General Scheme of this important Bill.
“Better access, together with affordability and improved quality are Fianna Fáil’s top three priorities in healthcare. This legislation, when enacted, will ease the financial burden of parents/guardians when bringing their child to hospital for in-patient care, helping to ensure that cost is not a significant consideration for families when children require access to in-patient treatment.”
The General Scheme will now be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for priority drafting of the Bill. The text of the Bill will be finalised as a matter of urgency, and it is intended to progress the legislation through the Houses of the Oireachtas as a priority in the coming weeks.
The General Scheme will be published on the Department of Health’s website.