RENUA Ireland have told Health minister Simon Harris he must; ‘’publicly move to assure patients in hospitals they will not be pursued by debt collectors’’.

The party said;

‘’Reports that patients are being pursued by debt collectors are, if true, representative of a new low.

Nothing empties a family’s purse more speedily than illness.

Nothing stops or halts recovery more speedily than worries over finance.

Chasing the ill is an utter reversal of the ethos of a public health system.

We seek an immediate declaration from the Minister that;

The HSE have not hired debt collection agencies to pursue unpaid statutory charges

That public hospitals have not hired debt collection agencies

That patients are not being pursued by debt collection agencies or the ruthless State Claims Agencies.

It is not enough for Mr Harris to simply say this is a matter for the HSE.

That is a dereliction of responsibility which is all too typical of new politics.

The ill do not need to see the Viper and his likes turning up with a demand form.

It’s time for the Minister to move to assure citizens this has not and will not happen.

The most appalling feature of this scenario is that those who will be most affected are working people who pay for everything.

They are the patients who between rent, mortgage and child-care cannot afford surprise bills and stealth taxes.

Once again those who can least afford it, working people, face the prospect of the Viper turning up at the door as part of their recovery.

Simon Harris must now move immediately to assure such people do not have to worry”