HSE says increase in charges for public residential care centres based on ‘ability to contribute’

West Kerry Community Hospital

The HSE says in cases where there has been significant increase in care charges for public residential care centres, the amount currently charged reflects the ‘equitable’ contribution.

The Irish Independent today reports claims a resident of the West Kerry Community Hospital in Dingle was not informed in advance that costs were going to jump three times within nine months.

While it says it does not comment on individual cases, in a statement today the HSE acknowledges ‘there may have been communication deficits in a small number of cases’.

According to the Irish Independent, the woman – said to be 90 and resident at the facility for some time – was reportedly being charged €998 last December.

The report claims this charge jumped to €1311 in January, to €1459 in April and to €1512 in July.

In a statement obtained by Radio Kerry News the HSE states that in October 2016 it published up-to-date costs for public residential care centres for older people.

These costs are based on the actual cost of providing care and not on the amount the residents contribute themselves.

HSE facilities, including West Kerry Community Hospital, applied these charges to every resident based on ‘ability to contribute’.

The HSE says it is not in a position to comment on individual cases, however in cases where there has been a significant increase in charges, the amount currently charged ‘reflects the correct and equitable contribution based on the financial assessment and the legislation’.

The HSE acknowledges that there may have been ‘communication deficits’ in a small number of cases however they have now responded in detail to any individual who had raised concerns.