Patients face €100 fee at minor injury units
PATIENTS who turn up at hospital minor injury units are now facing a charge of €100 for the first time.
Minor injury units, which are open for a limited number of hours, have replaced round-the-clock A&E departments in several hospitals.
These units treat sprains and strains, broken bones, wound infections, minor burns and scalds, minor head injuries, insect and animal bites, minor eye injuries and injuries to the back, shoulder and chest.
They have so far been free but hospitals will now be able to charge €100 following a recent move by Health Minister James Reilly.
Monaghan hospital is the latest to announce the charge for its minor injury unit and it came into effect yesterday.
The patient does not have to pay another charge if they have to make a return visit.
Dundalk Hospital has been charging patients since March. People with medical cards, pregnant women and babies six weeks of age are exempt from the charge.
The charge is the latest move by hospitals to generate income and follows confirmation in recent months that they have also begun to ask for a daily charge of €80 from patients, up to a maximum of €800 a year.