Austerity is tough but it must be fair
Hospital patients who do not have medical cards or private health insurance have been surprised, and often shocked, to learn that if a course of chemotherapy is prescribed for them they must pay €75 a day up to a maximum of €750 a year.
Legislation for this charge has been in effect, theoretically at least, for decades. But until very recent times, hospitals seldom or never insisted on payment.
That changed with the crisis in the Government's finances. Hospitals have had their budgets cut – at a time when patients find it harder to pay their bills.