Private health insurers in the Irish market now realise more and more that it’s far more prudent to allow their members to claim back a significant portion of day-to-day medical expenses for consultations with a wide variety of health care professionals who intervention has proven benefits.
This means lower heath care costs for the insurer in the long run if diseases or potentially serious conditions are diagnosed and treated as early as possible, and there is obviously a better short-term and longer-term outcome for the patients too.
You can now claim back up to 50% of the fee (per visit) to a qualified dietitian through your private health insurance. See FEES section of the site for full details on all health insurance policies, number of annual visits allowed, reimbursement amount & annual excess deductable/payable under each policy (which is zero in many cases).
Remember, you can also claim 20% of the remaining non-reimbursed portion of private dietetic fees through the tax relief via the Med. 1 form, which you can download here:
http://www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/claim-forms.htmlExample 1: Weight Management Programme
Comprises 7 private consultations.
Usual cost €390.
Special offer Fee: €340 (including ‘bundle’ saving of €50)
Gross cost per visit: €48.57
Claim 50% back on Simply Health Suite with Quinn Healthcare
(5 visits are covered per year, less policy excess of just €1 per policy member)
Total saving/claim from Quinn healthcare for 5 visits @ 50%= €120.43 (incl. €1 excess)
Claim a further 20% tax back (for every visit) on the balance of €219.57 (= €43.91)
Net cost is €175.66 for the entire programme of 7 consultations
Net cost= €25.09 per visit
Total saving: €214.34 (including special offer ‘bundle’ saving of €50) Example 2: Single once-off consultation
First visit (1 hour), Fee €90
Claim €35 back on VHI Family plan level 2,
Net cost ‘so far’ €55
Claim a further 20% tax back on the balance (€11)
Net cost for initial visit = €44
Total saving €46Example 3: Diabetes Bundle (5 consultations)
Fee: €250 (including special offer ‘bundle’ saving of €40)
Gross cost per visit: €50
Claim €25 back on Aviva Health “We plan level 1 Day-to-day 50” (up to 8 visits per member per year, with No policy excess payable).
Net cost ‘so far’ = €25
Claim a further 20% tax back (per visit) on the balance (€5)
Net cost = €100 for the full Diabetes Bundle (5 private consultations)
Net cost = €20 per visit
Total saving €190 (including special offer ‘bundle’ saving of €40)
You can only claim back on fees paid to qualified dietitians (clinical nutritionists) who are members of INDI and carry the initials MINDI after their name. You cannot claim back any portion of fees (through private health insurance or the 20% tax-back via the Med. 1 form) for self-professed nutritionists or nutrition consultants or nutritional therapists who have not attained recognised honours degree, Post graduate honours diplomas, Masters or PhD qualifications from a recognised University in Ireland. Dietitians who obtain their qualification outside Ireland are subject to a rigorous validation process by the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute, and the Department of Health.
Have you ever asked yourself or have you ever wanted to know: What Is The Difference Between a Qualified Dietitian (also known as Clinical Nutritionist) & a “Nutritional therapist”?
To try to describe the difference between these titles and qualifications is futile, as essentially there is NO COMPARISON at all between a real dietitian (with a 4-5 year honours degree, post graduate qualification or PhD from a recognised University) and the training of a nutritional therapist.
Follow this link to read the warning issued by the British Dietetic Association
Check out this blog post by Canadian registered dietitian Kate Park RD, CDE, MAN, BASc
In the words of the infamous stand-up comedian Dara O’Briain (who studied mathematics and theoretical physics at University College Dublin, before embarking on his TV presenting & stand-up career)
“A Dietitian is to a Nutritionist, what a Dentist is to a Toothiologist!”
Or why not check out Dara O’Briain’s Youtube video here on the topic of credentials of health professionals versus quacks!
(*Warning/disclaimer: This clip is not for the faint hearted! Viewer discretion is strongly advised. The views and opinions of Dara O’Briain are not the views and opinion of Niamh O’Connor and/or Cork Nutrition Consultancy)
The new revolutionary Low-FODMAPs diet which was developed by a team of researchers in Monash University, Melbourne Australia, is now available in Ireland. The diet has been shown to give major symptomatic relief in people with Crohns Disease & up to 75% of people with IBS.
FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs is an acronym for
Oligosaccharides (eg. Fructans and Galactans)
Disaccharides (eg. Lactose), Monosaccharides (eg. excess Fructose)
and Polyols (eg. Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt)
In Ireland, this new diet is only available from qualified registered dietitians (MINDI accredited). In November 2012, Niamh was one of 25 dietitians who attended & completed the first Fodmap training course for dietitians in Ireland. Niamh now offers the low-Fodmap diet to patients at her private clinics, located at Elmwood Medical Centre, Frankfield Douglas Cork & also the new Mater Private Hospital, City Gate, Mahon, Cork.
Check out this link to Kings College London for Fodmap FAQs.
Here is a list of other freelance FODMAP-trained dietitians in Ireland:
List of SEDI dietitians who are FODMAP trained_updated January 2014All Dietitians listed are members of the Irish Nutrition & Dietetic Institute (INDI) & Self-Employed Dietitians of Ireland (SEDI)
Vitamin D deficiency leads to a serious bone condition called Rickets, which is now re-emerging in Irish children and is fast becoming as a serious public health concern.
Vitamin D deficiency was thought to have been eradicated in Ireland after the Second World War, due to better nutrition. However, over 20 cases of rickets in infants and toddlers have been reported at two Dublin hospitals in the last five years.
Infants obtain around 50% of their vitamin D stores from their mother at birth, but research has found that maternal Vitamin D status in Ireland is low. Most of our Vitamin D is produced by the action of the sun’s UV rays on our skin. However, due to the fact that Ireland is 51 – 55 degrees north of the equator, little or no Vitamin D can be produced from sunlight between October & March/April as the angle of the sun is too low! Furthermore, poor summers & use of sun protections factors to reduce the risk of skin cancer also have a role to play in our declining vitamin D status. The final piece of information to complete this jigsaw is that very little Vitamin D is derived from food! All of these factors, coupled with the strong advice that infants should never be exposed to direct sunlight, means we find ourselves in a proverbial ‘catch 22’ situation!
The HSE & The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (www.fsai.ie) now recommend that all babies be given a Vitamin D supplement until their first birthday. The single supplementation should contain Vitamin D only, and no other vitamins. Several preparations are available (e.g. Baby Vit D3). Ask your GP or pharmacist for further information and advice on specific “Vitamin D only” brands & appropriate dosage.