Private Hospitals Association Welcomes Government Approval for New Hospital Licensing Framework
Patient Safety & Licensing Bill – Essential to Improve Standards of Care in Hospitals
The expected announcement today of Cabinet’s approval of the Heads of the Patient Safety & Licensing Bill represents an important step, particularly in the bid to raise performance standards in public hospitals and ensure that appropriate levels of safe patient care can be achieved across the entire range of high risk clinical service providers.
The Private Hospitals Association fully supports the concept of hospital licensing and has been calling for the introduction of common minimum standards in hospital care for almost a decade.
CEO of the Private Hospitals Associations Simon Nugent says the absence of such a safeguard leaves patient in the dark about the care they might expect to receive once admitted to their local hospital: “Hospital Licensing is recognised internationally as the most effective means of ensuring a hospital provides an acceptable and safe standard of care consistently to all patients. While most patients expect this as a given – the sad reality is that considerable variations currently exist in performance standards between hospitals according to location and region. Patients have a right to expect minimum standards of care and should not be losing out because of where they live in the country.”
Private Hospitals in Ireland are all fully accredited by internationally recognised accreditation bodies and care for over 400,000 patients annually.
Mr Nugent says the PHA is currently collaborating with the Department of Health in the preparation of the upcoming legislation “We would expect the new licenses to mirror the rigorous internationally-recognised accreditation standards that already apply to all private hospitals in Ireland. We will continue to work with colleagues across the health service to prepare a common licensing system that will assure patient safety in a public or private setting. “
He added that non-hospital care in high risk areas such as plastic surgery should be encompassed by regulation and that this would be a valuable element in the proposed legislation.