Free Healthcare? We owe 8.29 million to the hospitals. - Political Quote

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Free Healthcare? We owe 8.29 million to the hospitals.

Data obtained by The Irish Times indicate hospitals are now owed millions in A&E fees by patients.

Figures provided by 34 hospitals show they were owed a total of €8.29 million in A&E fees at various stages during 2006.

Some hospitals have engaged the services of debt collection agencies and solicitors to try and recoup the money owed.

In Canada you don't pay for going to hospital and you can see a doctor for free too. You only have to pay a doctor if you want private treatment. The Canadian Government pays doctors to work in public clinics and you can pop in and see them for free.

Under the terms of the Canada Health Act, the provinces provide all residents with health insurance cards, which entitle the bearer to receive free medical care for almost all procedures. Patients are free to choose their own doctor, hospital, etc. Health institutions are either private and non-profit (such as university hospitals) or provincially run (such as Quebec's CLSC system). Doctors in private practice are entrepreneurs who bill the medicare system for their fees.

Why do we tolerate such a poor service in such a rich country as Ireland? Free Healthcare in Ireland? Hospitals should be busy dealing with the sick not chasing down people who owe them money or worse putting the likes of Debt Collectors and Solicitors onto them.

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