FINE Gael Cork South Central TD and Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children, Jerry Buttimer, has welcomed the decision of VHI Healthcare to cover the PET-CT scanner at Cork University Hospital (CUH).
“I welcome the decision by VHI Healthcare to facilitate its customers using the PET-CT scanner at CUH. This decision will enable VHI customers in Cork to have access to the same facilities that are available in Dublin, Galway and Waterford without having to travel vast distances. As the largest private health insurer, VHI’s decision is very significant for patients.
“Earlier this year, management at CUH engaged a third party provider to operate the PET-CT scanner, providing access to the facility for public patients. Over the last few months, private health insurers have confirmed that they will cover the scanner, enabling their customers to access this important diagnostic tool.
“The efforts of management and the commitments by private health insurers are very significant for all patients in Cork who need access to the PET-CT scanner. Initially the PET-CT scanner was operating two days a week for public patients; this decision will now ensure that private patients can use the facility when it is not being used for public patients.
“One referral pathway is now available for all patients in Cork who need to access to the PET scanner. Cork patients are no longer required to travel to Dublin. There can now be universal access to the PET-CT scanner based on need, not whether someone is a public or private patient.
“Finally the investment of €6.85 million in this treatment and diagnostic facility can be put to use for the benefit of all patients.”