Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Health
661. To ask the Minister for Health his plans to include for the provision of inpatient and outpatient private healthcare in the new national children's hospital or its satellite centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3166/20]
As part of the National Contract for Consultants negotiated in 2008, some consultants holding specific contracts are entitled to engage in private outpatient practice outside of their public commitment and this commitment must be conducted on site, that is, in the hospital they are contracted with. As a result, private outpatient clinics may be held on public hospital campuses but these clinics must be held outside contracted hours. Private clinics are currently located on the grounds of each the existing three children’s hospitals.
The new children's hospital is obliged to provide such facilities for consultants holding such contracts. Accordingly, while the vast majority of services in the new children’s hospital will be public services, within the new hospital an area has been planned which carries the designation of "private clinic". The private outpatient clinic at the new children’s hospital represents circa 0.25% of the clinical space within the new children’s hospital. There are a total of 129 outpatient clinical exam rooms primarily accessed off the main concourse on the ground and lower ground floor of the new children’s hospital, each of which are identical in design and fit out. There are 8 clinical exam rooms in the private outpatient clinic.
Ultimately, the proposal is for consultants to pay a fee for use of private rooms and other operational costs. The proposed level of fee has not been determined yet.