Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said that he has written to the Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee to investigate why the HSE is charging multiples of the cost of Private Nursing Home care to elderly patients in public and HSE run Nursing Home facilities. Deputy McGrath was speaking after claims have emerged that the HSE is acting like a “law unto themselves” with respect to providing transparency on its public nursing home spend:
“It is only because the Report on fees paid to Private and Voluntary Nursing Homes has now been made public, after at least five years of attempts to do so, that we have concrete evidence of the practices being engaged in by the HSE.
Thanks to that Report we can now see that fees payable to HSE Nursing Homes under the Fair Deal are at least 60% above those payable to private and voluntary nursing homes.
By any definition this is a State body engaged in the financial exploitation of elderly or vulnerable patients.
As I understand it, the largest provider of Private and Voluntary Nursing Homes has now confirmed that the HSE nursing homes can be paid up to seven times the amount that a private and voluntary nursing home will be paid.
Surely this is bordering on cartel like behaviour by the HSE.
We have already waited two years for vitally needed reforms and now we are being told that cash may not be available.
Is it any wonder given the brazen and ruthless profiteering that the HSE are engaged in when it comes to offering our elderly people the kind of cost appropriate and cost effective care that they deserve,” concluded Deputy McGrath.