The inaugural conference provided an excellent forum to discuss the challenges facing the private healthcare sector, and the wider health service in Ireland. The conference focused on several key areas – the future trends in private health care; investment priorities within the sector; and the move away from an accreditation focus towards continuous improvements in quality and patient safety. The relationship and interactions with health insurers and the public health system were also discussed.
There were some key issues raised at the conference:
- Several speakers expressed concern around the aging population. It was suggested that there will be an average increase of €600 to each person’s health insurance premium over the next decade to pay for the claims made by this growing section of society. It was also estimated that by the year 2027, the average person could be spending €11,000 on health care in the form of taxes and private health insurance.
- Representatives from various private hospitals called on a greater use of private facilities to alleviate waiting lists in public hospitals. €20 million is available this year to spend on cutting waiting list but only €5 million will be used in private facilities.
- At the conference, Simon Harris TD and Minister for Health announced that private hospitals would be brought under the remit of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). HIQA’s role is to develop standards, inspect and review health and social care services and support informed decisions on how services are delivered.
If you would like to read more about the conference please see the Private Hospitals Association website.
Congratulations to the Association on a fantastic conference. Looking forward to next year!