HSE-run home €600 dearer than private facility
Published 05/10/2010 | 05:00
A NURSING home run by the Health Service Executive is now up to €600 a week more expensive than some nearby private facilities, according to a new report.
The HSE can set its own prices but private nursing homes are subject to rates negotiated with the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF).
The difference in prices is most apparent in Kildare. The weekly cost of a single room in a public nursing home in Kildare is €1,554 while a single room in a private home in the same county is €945.
Nationally, public nursing homes -- many of which are in buildings over a century old -- are €400 on average more expensive per week than private facilities.
The report was commissioned by Nursing Homes Ireland, the organisation representing private nursing homes in the wake of the Government's Fair Deal scheme introduced last autumn. It warned more private nursing homes were in danger of closing because of the disparity in rates. Launching the report yesterday, chief executive Tadhg Daly said private homes have had to spend over €35m between them meeting new standards set by the Health Information and Quality Authority.
"The amount spent per home averages €77,872," he said. "However, already a number of homes have said they will be closing because of the cost involved and the failure to get a satisfactory weekly rate under the Fair Deal scheme."
Under the Fair Deal scheme, elderly residents undergo a financial and health assessment. Their weekly fees are based on their means -- they can pay upfront or have the cost deducted from their estate after death. The scheme has made upfront costs more affordable for most people in private nursing homes.