Hospital spent nearly €4,000 on burials
Wexford General Hospital spent almost €3,887 last year on the burial of people who died without means or family members to meet the cost of their funeral arrangments.
The figure is contained in a report which shows that the HSE spent a total €94,277 on 'burial expenses' for people who died in hospitals around the country in 2016, compared to €95,000 in 2015 and €106,000 in 2014. The highest spend was in the south east region.
Some of those assisted by the health authority were made homeless before they were admitted to hospital and had no family.
The HSE must pay for a burial in a situation where a person may be been in long-stay psychiatric care for years before being transferred to an acute hospital on becoming ill and there may be no record of living family members.
A coroner or a community welfare officer usually arranges the funeral where the burial expenses of a deceased person are to be met by the HSE.