Dáil Éireann - Volume 413 - 19 November, 1991

Written Answers. - Hospital Treatment Costs.

151. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Health whether having regard to the generous salaries paid to hospital consultants and in the light of recent developments whereby some hospital consultants are raising the fees for treatments and procedures which cannot be matched by the struggling medical insurance company, she will consider protecting the interests of the vulnerable consumer by introducing legislation which would standardise costs across the board for specific treatments and procedures; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Health (Mrs. O'Rourke): The recently announced increase in fees charged by medical consultants is of grave concern to me because of the threat it poses to the existing balance between [134] public and private health care, on which the successful operation of our health services depends. The matter has already been discussed by Government and is being considered further by me in consultation with my colleague the Minister for Industry and Commerce.