25/09/2019

Irish Hospitals Must Stop Using Debt Recovery Agencies - SF

Reports of Irish hospitals hiring debt collection agencies to recoup unpaid bills from patients has been described as "harrowing" by Sinn Féin President, Mary Lou McDonald.

Raising the issue in the Dáil, Ms McDonald said that reports state that hospitals have spent over half a million euro on debt collection agencies last year, with patients making reports and complaints to HSE of harassment, threats and strong-arm tactics.

Ms McDonald continued: "The Minister for Health must make an urgent statement to the Dáil on these harrowing reports of debt collection agencies, employed by our hospitals, using harassment, threats and strong-arm tactics to frighten patients.

"These are vulnerable people, people recovering from illness or dealing with the illness of a child or other loved one. The reported behaviour of these agencies is disgusting and completely unacceptable.

"No hospital in Ireland should be engaging debt collection agencies, especially not agencies that intimidate sick people who may be in serious financial distress.

"Irish hospitals should stop using these agencies immediately."

(MH/CM)

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