Thursday, 15 October 2020
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
Charges are a matter for the HSE, operating under section 55 of the Health Act. Perhaps the solution for the HSE would be not to charge for the night if the person is in hospital for, let us say, four or five days. That is the average length of stay in hospital. 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, but that is a decision for the HSE to make. On the positive side, while there are still patients on trolleys every day, a very large number are on trolleys because they are in isolation rooms, so they are on trolleys for clinical reasons rather than reasons of overcrowding. It is positive to see that the level of overcrowding in our hospitals is at its lowest in many years, if not since records began.