Saturday 21 October 2017

Both HSE and the insurers should start to play fair

Minister for Health James Reilly
Minister for Health James Reilly

BACK in previous times of recession, many business people's problems were compounded by slow and late payments. That dreadful old bugbear of holding on to money until the latest possible moment actually added to economic slowdown. Now we find that same syndrome manifesting itself in a somewhat different guise.

A day after Health Minister James Reilly was obliged to strongly defend the need to give an extra €199m in taxpayers' money to cover a 2013 health spending over-run, we find the health insurance companies owe our hospitals €100m.

This is most distressful news and risks casting the recent hard lobbying by the health insurers about changes in tax relief and increased levies in quite another light. The reality is that, if the health insurance firms were better at paying on time, the taxpayers' health budget shortfall could have been less.

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