Makes no cents | 

Doctor billed €100 for getting Covid swab while working in ICU

Aaron Blake (28) took to Twitter today to share a photo of a letter sent to him by the debt collector.
Photo credit: Aaron Blake/Twitter

Photo credit: Aaron Blake/Twitter

Neasa Cumiskey

A young doctor has revealed that he was billed €100 for receiving a Covid swab while working in the ICU.

Aaron Blake (28), a Senior House Officer in Anaesthesiology working in Cork University Hospital (CUH), took to Twitter today to share a photo of a letter sent to him by a debt collector.

The photo showed an invoice from Debitask Collection Services asking Mr Blake to pay an outstanding balance of €100, which he claimed was in relation to a trip to CUH’s emergency department where he received a Covid test after working in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The letter, which refers to the invoice as Mr Blake’s ‘First and Final Reminder’ of payment, demands that the amount due should be paid immediately to the debt collection company.

In the public tweet, Mr Blake wrote: “Are there any benefits to working for the HSE? You must get free healthcare or something lmao.

“Also the HSE: a DEBT COLLECTORS LETTER for going to ED for a swab while I got sick working in the COVID ICU.”

In another public tweet, he tagged the HSE and said: “And no, I won't be paying a cent of it. Bring me to court huns, you'll have to give me the day off.”

Mr Blake claimed that he was “never informed of any charge or debt” before receiving the invoice.

The HSE and CUH have been contacted for comment.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the HSE spent nearly €1.3 million on debt collection costs in the space of 24 months.

Patients who attend public hospitals generally must pay certain charges to the HSE after their visit, which includes an €100 bill for attending an emergency department and €80 for an overnight stay.

According to Freedom of Information documents released to Newstalk in April, these payments were distributed between six separate companies.

Figures show that the HSE paid these companies more than €687,000 in 2019 and nearly €569,000 last year.

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