Healthcare costs to rise as benefits cutback takes effect
Dental care, drugs, spectacles and health insurance are all going up in cost from this week.
And nearly two million people covered by PRSI will no longer be provided with free dental treatment or spectacles.
The €54m cost-cutting move means they are only entitled to a free dental or eye exam from this month with all other benefits -- except for access to hearing aids -- abolished for for 2010, including a free clean and polish and reduced rates for extractions and fillings.
From this month, people with PRSI also cannot get any free or subsidised spectacles although they can still get a free eye test.
Also feeling the brunt of increased charges are private patients availing of the Drugs Payment Scheme for regular medication, who see their threshold maximum payment jump by €20 to €120 a month.
Meanwhile, 510,000 Quinn Healthcare members face premium hikes of between 8pc and 25pc at their next renewal date.
And in April, medical card holders need to be braced for a 50c per prescription item charge, capped at €10 a month.