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17 2006

Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006

PART 1

Preliminary and General

Short title, construction, collective citation and commencement.

1 .— (1) This Act may be cited as the Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006.

(2) The Health Acts 1947 to 2006 and this Act shall be construed together as one Act and the collective citation “the Health Acts 1947 to 2006” shall include this Act.

(3) This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister for Health and Children may appoint by order or orders either generally or with reference to any particular purpose or provision and different days may be so appointed for different purposes or provisions.

Interpretation.

2 .— In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

“ accept ”, in relation to a prescribed repayment, shall be construed in accordance with section 16 (13);

“ act ” includes an omission;

“application” means an application under section 5 (1);

“ applicant ”, in relation to an application, means the relevant person or connected person who made the application;

“ child ” includes a step-child;

“connected person”, in relation to a relevant person, means—

(a) a person who has been nominated in writing by the relevant person for the purposes of making an application,

(b) the Registrar of Wards of Court if the relevant person is a ward of court,

(c) a person with an enduring power of attorney in respect of the relevant person,

(d) a next friend appointed by a court,

(e) the Executive if—

(i) none of paragraph (a), (b), (c) or (d) is applicable to the relevant person, and

(ii) the relevant person is unable to make an application due to a physical or mental disability or ill-health,

(f) in the case of a relevant person who died on or after 9 December 1998—

(i) the legal personal representative of the estate of the relevant person if a grant of representation has issued in respect of the estate,

(ii) a person entitled to extract such grant of representation if a grant of representation has not issued in respect of the estate, or

(g) a living spouse or living child of the relevant person who has paid, on behalf of the relevant person, the whole or part of the amount referred to in the definition of “recoverable health charge” by virtue of which the relevant person is a relevant person;

“ Executive ” means the Health Service Executive;

“ ex gratia scheme ” means that scheme, announced by the Minister on 16 December 2004, whereby ex gratia payments were made to persons in respect of charges paid for in-patient services under—

(a) the Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) Regulations 1976 (S.I. No. 180 of 1976) as in force at any time before, on or after they were amended by the Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) (Amendment) Regulations 1987 (S.I. No. 300 of 1987), or

(b) the Institutional Assistance Regulations 1954 (S.I. No. 103 of 1954) as in force at any time before, on or after they were amended by the Institutional Assistance Regulations 1965 (S.I. No. 177 of 1965),

when they had full eligibility;

“Fund” has the meaning assigned to it by section 11 (1);

“ Minister ” means the Minister for Health and Children;

“ patient ’s private property account” means so much of the money and personal property of—

(a) a person provided with in-patient services referred to in section 53 of the Health Act 1970 (as amended by section 4 of the Health (Amendment) Act 2005 ),

(b) a person provided with institutional assistance under section 54 of the Health Act 1953 ,

(c) a person in a residence used wholly or partly as a setting to provide care for persons with a physical or mental disability, or

(d) a person otherwise being cared for by, or on behalf of, the Executive due to a physical or mental disability or ill-health,

that is managed, on behalf of that person, by the Executive or by another person under an arrangement with the Executive, whether before, on or after the commencement of section 9 ;

“prescribed cut-off date”, in relation to section 5 (3)(b), means the date prescribed in regulations made under section 20 (1)(a) in respect of that section;

“ prescribed repayment ”, in relation to a recoverable health charge, means a payment under section 6 (1)(a) or (b) in respect of the recoverable health charge;

“ recoverable health charge ” means that amount which has been paid of—

(a) a charge imposed on a person with full eligibility under the Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) Regulations 1976 (S.I. No. 180 of 1976), as in force at any time before 14 July 2005, including as so in force as amended by the Health (Charges for In-Patient Services) (Amendment) Regulations 1987 (S.I. No. 300 of 1987), or

(b) a contribution, for in-patient services only, required of a person with full eligibility under the Institutional Assistance Regulations 1954 (S.I. No. 103 of 1954), as in force at any time on or after the commencement of the Regulations referred to in paragraph (a), including as so in force as amended by the Institutional Assistance Regulations 1965 (S.I. No. 177 of 1965);

“ reject ”, in relation to a prescribed repayment, shall be construed in accordance with section 16 (1)(b);

“ relevant person ”, in relation to a recoverable health charge, means the person referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of the definition of “recoverable health charge” and whether or not that person was the person who paid all or any of the amount referred to in that definition;

“ scheme administrator ”—

(a) means, subject to paragraph (b), the Executive,

(b) means, in relation to a provision of this Act the subject of a nomination under section 3 (2), the person the subject of that nomination;

“ specified ”, in relation to a form, means specified under section 4 ;

“ spouse ”, in relation to a relevant person, means a spouse within the meaning of section 3(10)(c) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 .

Executive may enter into arrangement with person to provide services for purposes of this Act, etc.

3 .— (1) The Executive may enter into an arrangement with a person (including any public officer or public body) for the person to provide services, on behalf of the Executive, for the purposes of this Act (including making an application in the Executive’s capacity falling within paragraph (e) of the definition of “connected person” and in relation to the functions imposed under this Act on the Executive in respect of the Fund).

(2) The Executive may, in relation to a provision of this Act, nominate in writing a person who has entered into an arrangement referred to in subsection (1), and subject to such conditions, if any, as the Executive thinks fit and specified in the nomination, to be the scheme administrator in relation to that provision.

Power of scheme administrator to specify forms.

4 .— (1) Subject to subsection (2), the scheme administrator may specify the form of any document required under this Act to be in the specified form and the form of such other documents required for the purposes of this Act as the scheme administrator thinks fit.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), an application shall contain a summary of—

(a) the purpose of the application, and

(b) the consequences of the determination of the application under section 6 (1)(a), (b) or (c) (including the right to appeal under section 16 (1) against a decision under section 6 (1)(a), (b) or (c)).

(3) A form specified under this section shall be—

(a) completed in accordance with such directions and instructions as are specified in the form,

(b) subject to subsection (4), accompanied by such documents (including instruments, certificates, duplicates of the form and statutory declarations) as are specified in the form, and

(c) if the completed form is required to be provided to the scheme administrator or any other person, so provided in the manner, if any, specified in the form.

(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2)(b), an application made by an applicant falling within paragraph (e) of the definition of “connected person” and that is in respect of a living relevant person shall be accompanied by a certificate in a form specified under this section—

(a) issued by a registered medical practitioner who has examined the relevant person not earlier than 6 months before the date on which the application was signed,

(b) stating—

(i) the date of the examination, and

(ii) that, in the opinion of the practitioner, the relevant person—

(I) is of sufficient capacity to understand the summary referred to in subsection (2), or

(II) is not of sufficient capacity to understand the summary referred to in subsection (2),

and

(c) signed by the practitioner.

(5) The scheme administrator’s power under subsection (1)

(a) shall be exercised in such a way as to require the person completing the form to make a statutory declaration as to whether the particulars contained in the form are true and correct to the best of that person’s knowledge and belief,

(b) may be exercised in such a way as to specify 2 or more forms of any document referred to in that subsection, whether as alternatives, or to provide for particular circumstances or particular cases, as the scheme administrator thinks fit.