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HSE

Grieving families of road traffic victims 'sent €100 hospital invoices'

A TD has said this shows a “terrible lack of compassion” and is “cruel”.

THE HSE HAS been criticised for sending hospital invoices to the grieving families of road traffic victims.

Martin Ferris, Sinn Fein TD, said that this “shows a terrible lack of compassion” and called for the situation to be looked at.

‘Thought it was a mistake’

Deputy Ferris said that his office had heard from a constituent who was sent the invoice after their loved one died “by the side of the road” following a road traffic accident.

The person was brought to hospital by the emergency services.

He said that the devastated constituent “thought that the invoice must have been a mistake”, so Deputy Ferris posed a parliamentary question to Health Minister Dr James Reilly, on the matter.

It was confirmed by Minister Reilly in his reply that the current emergency department charge is €100 per visit, subject to some exemptions.

There is no exemption to this charge for injury acquired through a road accident – and current HSE guidelines say that if a patient is a minor or has passed away, the invoice must be sent to the next of kin or their legal representative.

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Ferris commented:

Surely the distress and grief it causes a bereaved family to get an invoice from the HSE for A&E services, when their loved one is brought in after a fatal accident, is not worth the €100 the HSE demands.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Deputy Ferris said that it is “very insensitive” to send such an invoice to a family member. “They are after losing a loved one – the last thing they want is getting a demand notice,” he said.

“I think it should be looked at,” said Ferris.

He has called on Minister Reilly to “imagine himself in those circumstances and to put a stop to this practice immediately”.

Read: ‘Trust of the community’ needed if Dublin A&E closures go ahead>

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