The financial burden of children’s healthcare will be reduced for families across County Kildare with the slashing of overnight and in-patient hospital charges, Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Minister of State Martin Heydon has said.

The Government has approved legislation which will remove the existing statutory in-patient charge of €80 per night for all children under 16 years old across public hospitals.

Minister Heydon said, “Fine Gael is focusing on reducing the burden on families with children in hospital, as we know there are huge logistical and financial costs for many parents. Having a child in hospital is traumatic and difficult both for the patient and their families, but we’re working hard to implement positive changes to help in these situations.

“The removal of hospital charges for all under 16-year-olds will be a massive financial relief for parents across County Kildare. This change, when implemented, will mean that cost should not be a major consideration for anyone when young people need medical care.

“Ultimately, this legislation will result in easier access, affordability and better quality for healthcare for our children across County Kildare.

“Fine Gael has been listening to parents of children in hospital and we’ve been campaigning for a number of supports to help these families – better coordination of hospital appointments, increased welfare supports. These also include the reform of the Care Allowance, which was recently introduced by my colleague Minister Heather Humphreys, as well as this announcement of the removal of hospital charges.

“Our work is by no means over, and we will continue to work hard for parents with children in hospital. However, this new legislation is evidence that Fine Gael and the Government are removing barriers and reducing costs to ensure the best possible healthcare for our children, concluded,” Minister Heydon.