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In a statement the Association warned that the proposals in the Sláintecare Report has been understated and will actually cost the taxpayer €20 billion if implemented over 10 years; compared with €2.8 billion stated in the Report.
“It is absolutely astonishing,” said Dr Tom Ryan, President of the IHCA, “that the Sláintecare Report contains an underestimation of such magnitude.”
He said that the proposal to remove private practice income from public hospitals by itself will cost the public hospitals €6.5 billion over a ten year period. The IHCA claims that when this is adjusted for inflation the estimated cost will be in the region of €8 billion per decade, which is €800 million in lost hospital income per year.
The Association has just made its submission to the Independent Review Group which is looking into the impact of removing private practice from public hospitals, a move that is recommended in the Sláintecare Report.
Dr Ryan said that ‘’based on our collective experience, the IHCA and its hospital consultant members have no confidence that the loss in private health insurance income will be replaced by the Exchequer.
“This is especially a concern as the State has for decades struggled to adequately fund the public acute hospital system. In the context of the ESRI projected 37 per cent increase in demand for hospital care by 2030, removing the private revenue stream defies logic and will cripple the public hospital system.’’
Dr Ryan added that the under-resourcing of public hospitals “would only serve to exacerbate the existing Consultant recruitment and retention crisis.”