Do more to tackle costs, Reilly warns insurers
HEALTH insurance companies, which are losing 5,500 customers a month, need to tackle costs and check up on the number of procedures consultants order, Health Minister James Reilly has warned.
He was speaking after the chief executive of Laya healthcare claimed the final nail in the industry's coffin would be the Department of Health's plan to recoup €450m over three years by charging all private patients in public beds. Donal Clancy said this could push up premiums by as much as 40pc. However, Dr Reilly told the National Healthcare Conference in Dublin the insurers had to do more to tackle costs, including audits on treatments. He defended the charge for all public beds, saying it was ludicrous that a consultant could claim a fee for an insured patient but a hospital could not.
IMF official Benedict Clements told the conference that "relatively well-paid" healthcare workers were partly responsible for soaring health costs.
Figures showed that there were 399 people on hospital trolleys yesterday, the highest number in more than a year.