Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Health

Health Insurance Cost

Photo of Liam TwomeyLiam Twomey (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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To ask the Minister for Health the reason a private ambulance was called to transfer a patient from Waterford Regional Hospital at a cost of €900, when a wheelchair taxi at a cost of €120 was satisfactory; the cost controls the VHI are implementing to control this unnecessary cost on VHI subscribers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57454/12]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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As Minister for Health, I have no role in the day to day decisions of the private health insurance companies. VHI Healthcare provides benefit for ambulance transfers in certain specified circumstances. A clinical decision is taken in each individual case, a hospital clinician certifies on the claim form that it is medically necessary for the patient to be transported by ambulance and details the medical reason why such ambulance transportation is necessary. Ambulance benefit is payable to ambulance companies on receipt of a fully completed claim form.

The Deputy may wish to note that the VHI Special Investigation Unit works to ensure that instances of error or overcharging by healthcare providers are fully investigated and rectified and the Deputy may wish to pass on the details to the VHI for further investigation.


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