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Bills for public nursing homes 40pc more than private care, says report

Public nursing homes cost the taxpayer at least 40pc more than private care, a representative group has claimed.

Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) has accused the State of failing to reveal the true cost of public nursing home care.

The HSE-published cost of care figures for individual HSE nursing homes were last published in March 2011 and found that the average cost was €1,245-per-week.

In contrast, the fees for residents in private and voluntary nursing homes were most recently published just last month.

The NHI also said that its report indicates that costs have doubled during the recession.

CEO of NHI, Tadhg Daly, said that there needs to be accountability over the cost to the state of nursing home care in the public sector.

"Incredulously it is now over four years since the cost of care for public nursing homes were last published," Mr Daly said.

"The real cost of public nursing home care is being hidden.

"The average cost in March 2011 was €1,245-per-week per resident in HSE nursing homes which was 40pc above that applied for private and voluntary counterparts.

"The reality is public nursing home costs are far beyond the average presented four years ago."


Mr Daly said that the HSE should publish up to date costs for public care.

"A HSE Midlands Information Document published May 2012 provided an insight into the reality of public nursing home costs," Mr Daly said.

"It cited average costs per bed well beyond €1,245 and up to €2,500.

"The reality is private and voluntary nursing homes are being forced to provide care for rates that are at least half those provided to their public counterparts."

The Dementia Services Information and Development Centre (DSIDC) report published in January has questioned why private nursing homes, as majority providers of specialist dementia care, are being provided with smaller payments by comparison with their public counterparts.

DSIDC has called for more realistic and fairer resource allocation to support private nursing homes in meeting specialist care requirements of persons who require long-term residential care.

A representative for the HSE was unavailable for comment at the time of going to print.