A €10 rise in the charge for attending accident and emergency departments at Irish hospitals is due to come into force at midnight tonight.
The increase to €55 was announced in the Budget earlier this month. This figure represents a 266% rise in the cost of attending an A&E unit since 1997, when it stood at just €15.
The threshold for the Drug Payment Scheme is also due to increase €78 to €85 a month from midnight tonight.
This is 124% higher than in June 1997, when the threshold was €38 a month.