Hospital Charges

Outpatients/Accidents & Emergency

If you are referred to an outpatients department of a public hospital by your GP, you will not have to pay a fee. If you wish to attend in a private capacity however, you will be required to pay the appropriate fee.

If you go to outpatients/A&E without a referral from your GP, you may be charged a fee (currently set at €60, as from 1st January 2006). The fee does not apply to the following groups:

  • Medical card holders
  • People admitted into hospital following attendance at A&E – you will then be charged as an inpatient
  • People receiving treatment for prescribed infectious diseases
  • Children up to 6 weeks of age, children suffering from prescribed diseases and disabilities, and children referred from child health clinics/school health examinations
  • People who are entitled to hospital services through EU regulations
  • Women receiving maternity services.

In cases of excessive hardship, an HSE Area may waive the fee.

If you have to return to the hospital for further visits in relation to the same illness or accident, you do not have to pay the charge again.

Inpatients

The charge for inpatient (staying in a ward overnight) and day services (admitted to hospital under the care of a consultant, but not staying overnight) in public hospitals is set at €60. However, no person has to pay more than €600 for inpatient or day services in any one year.

The charge does not apply to the following groups:

  • Medical card holders
  • People receiving treatment for prescribed infectious diseases
  • People who are subject to "long stay" charges
  • Children up to 6 weeks of age, children suffering from prescribed diseases and disabilities, and children referred from child health clinics/school health examinations
  • People who are entitled to hospital services through EU Regulations
  • Women receiving maternity services.

In cases of excessive hardship, an HSE Area may waive the fee.

Long-stay charges

Under the Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) Regulations 2005, charges for long-stay or extended care patients are arranged differently from those of normal inpatient charges. The charges depend on the level of nursing care being provided:

  • For people receiving inpatient services in premises where nursing care is provided on a 24-hour basis, the maximum charge is €120 per week, or their weekly income less €35 – whichever is the lesser amount.
  • For people receiving inpatient services in premises where nursing care is not provided on a 24-hour basis, the maximum weekly charge is €90 per week, or their weekly income less €55 – whichever is the lesser amount.

The HSE has the discretion to reduce or waive the charges, in order to avoid hardship.

Private patients

If you are being treated as a private patient and staying in a private bed in a public or voluntary hospital, you will have to pay a charge on top of that paid for the public hospital inpatient charge.

You will also have to pay for the services of your consultant as a private patient.

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