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‘Co-location’ not an option — Minister

20 Feb 2015

Minister Leo Varadkar

The Minister for Health has insisted his plan to link private hospitals with the new hospital Groups is not co-location in a new guise.

Former Minister Mary Harney’s plan was for private hospitals to be built alongside public ones. Minister Leo Varadkar has now proposed that private hospitals “work with their nearest hospital group where that makes sense”.

Minister Varadkar plans to allow elective surgery that gets cancelled in a public hospital to be carried out in the private facility, or scans to be done in the private hospital if there is insufficient capacity elsewhere.

Among actions to tackle the ED crisis, the Minister also plans to divert patients with private health insurance to private hospitals where consultants have admitting rights.

This follows new flexibility regarding private medicine: off-campus private work by 30 Type C consultants has been allowed since last year.

Reports showed that consultants were fulfilling their contractual arrangements, the HSE has said. To date, no reports have issued to the National Director of HR in relation to issues of non-compliance and remittance of funds.

Monthly reports “ensure that the level of activity is not detrimental to public work and that there is no displacement of this work by private activity”, the Executive said.

Gary Culliton

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Irish Medical Times