Insurers pay hospitals servicing the Dungannon area up to £7m for treating crash victims

Hospitals are able to claim crash care back from insurers
Hospitals are able to claim crash care back from insurers

Hospitals in the Southern Trust area have recovered up to £7m from insurers for treating road traffic accident victims since 2012.

Last year, the hard-pressed trust, which covers the Dungannon District, generated £1.9m mostly from reclaiming the insurance companies’ cash.

If donations are given to one of the four general funds, it allows the Trust to support a wide range of projects that would otherwise not be possible - Southern Trust spokesperson

Insurance companies already factor in potential NHS claims whenever they set their premiums.

The right to claim back the cost of treating road crash victims predates even the NHS, however, excess red tape has hampered hospitals from recovering the money in the past.

Failure to charge for crash care costs the NHS millions of pounds a year, it is estimated.

Other sources of revenue for local hospitals such as South Tyrone and Craigavon Area, included charitable donations, which has amounted to a £4.8m windfall over the last three years.

In fact, the local trust received the second highest number of donations in the North, after Belfast Health Trust.

Each year, Northern Ireland’s health trusts, which have had to make hard-hitting cuts to services, receive generous donations and legacies from members of the public.

The Southern Trust also made £23m from client contributions to social care, £601k from private patients and £160k from Great Britain and Republic of Ireland income.

A spokesperson for the Southern Trust said: “The generosity of our community makes it possible for the Trust to do things that otherwise would simply not be possible.

“For instance, in the last year we have used donations to buy equipment for the Maternity and Neonatal Units at Craigavon Area Hospital; support crafts at Bannvale SEC; buy furniture for Loane House at South Tyrone Hospital and fund day trips and lunch for clients at Keady Resource Centre.

“None of this would have been possible without the help and support of donors. If a donation is given for a specific purpose or ward/department, we will work to ensure that is used as requested. If donations are given to one of the four general funds, it allows the Trust to support a wide range of projects that would otherwise not be possible.”