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Government to negotiate new deal with private hospitals

The current deal to use private facilities during the Covid-19 crisis will not be extended beyond the end of June.

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THE GOVERNMENT HAS decided not to seek an extension to its deal with private hospitals and instead a new deal will be negotiated, it is understood.

In March the government reached a €115 million per month agreement with private hospitals to use all of their facilities during the Covid-19 crisis.

This deal runs until the end of June and today Cabinet agreed it should not be extended.

A new deal will be negotiated to allow for full access to private hospital facilities in the case of a second wave of Covid-19, particularly if a second wave coincides with a bad flu season in the winter. 

The new agreement will also seek to use private hospitals for the treatment of non-Covid patients.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said this will allow for the use of private hospital facilities to address the backlog of people waiting for operations, outpatient appointments or scans. 

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The current agreement has been described as “a bad deal for taxpayer”. Private consultants have also criticised the deal, claiming they are losing money under the current model.

Some 2,000 beds, nine laboratories and thousands of staff were drafted into the public system.

- With reporting by Christina Finn.

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