The Department of Health has published the general scheme of a bill that would scrap all in-patient charges for public patients in all public hospitals.
This legislation, when enacted, will remove the current charge of €80 per day, up to a maximum of €800 in a year, that applies for people accessing care as a public patient in all public hospitals.
Primary legislation is needed to bring the abolition of the charges into effect.
The Health (Abolition of Public Inpatient Charges) Bill 2023 will amend the Health Act 1970.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly (pictured) received Cabinet approval to publish the draft legislation earlier this week, saying that it would remove the “financial burden” of charges for everybody.
Public in-patient charges for children were abolished last year, while medical-card holders are also currently exempt.
The Department of Health said that the bill would be referred to the Office of the Attorney General for priority drafting, and that the text would be finalised “as a matter of urgency”.
It is aiming for the legislation to go through the Oireachtas “in the coming months”.