An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Wednesday, August 18, 2004  

Motor accident victims pay

For the first time, I perused the motoring section of the Irish Times today. Many interesting stories. Firstly, 'blue light' drivers in Ireland (i.e. guards, ambulance drivers, fire brigade etc) get little or no training in emergency driving. V. dangerous. More interesting however was the revelation that if you are in a car accident and have to stay overnight in hospital you have to pay up to €800 per night - all other patients are treated for free. Apparently the Dep of Health takes the view (endorsed by a Supreme Court decision) that its your own fault for being in hospital and you should cover the State's costs. Of course in reality what happens is that the insurance companies pay up, thus accounting for some of the costs in compensation hearings. I had no idea this was the case. It sounds like a crafty idea except of course that many people injured in RTA's are not at fault and additionally that many people can end up in hospital after other types of accidents that are their own fault. Bit unfair to single out the RTA's. I suppose the Dep. of Health in the hungry 80's (the measure was introduced in 1986) thought it was a great scam at the time. I can't figure out whether I am appalled or impressed.....

posted by Sarah | 21:21 0 comments
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