The amount of money owed to hospitals in the mid-west from private health insurance has been described as “staggering”.
Close to 12.9 million euro in claims were outstanding at the end of last year, a rise of almost 600,000 on the previous year.
The amount of money owed from private health insurance to hospitals within the UL Hospitals Group jumped to just over 12 million, 866 thousand last year, up from 12.2million in 2015.
New figures show hospitals in Limerick including UHL, St John’s and University Maternity Hospital all saw a rise in this type of debt, with the highest portion of the money – just over 9 million – owed to University Hospital Limerick.
At Ennis General Hospital, just under 645,000 euro was outstanding at the end of the year, while Nenagh experienced the lowest level of debt.
Croom bucked the trend, with a drop in the amount of money owed in 2016.
The figures are out of line with other hospital groups around the country and Clare’s Independent TD, Michael Harty has vowed to raise the issue with the Health Minister.
Ireland is the only country in Europe which relies on private health insurance to support the public hospital system, with 670 million euro needed from private health insurance each year.
Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey says the figure is way too high and he insists someone should be held accountable for it.