The Minister for Health is seeking Cabinet approval to legislate for the abolishment of public hospital charges.

Patients are currently charged €80 per visit, with a cap of €800 per year.

However, Stephen Donnelly is seeking to remove the fees in April.

The Government's intention to remove public hospital charges was announced as part of Budget 2023.

Last year, fees for those aged under 16 were also removed.

The measure is seen as a way to ease the rising cost-of-living for families.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister Donnelly said the move will result in a cost of €30m to the HSE.

However, he said "critically" it will be a saving to patients of up to €800 a year.

Separately, Rural and Community Development Minister Heather Humphreys has published details of the €50m Community Recognition Fund, which was announced last year.

Communities that host refugees can qualify.

It will be distributed among local authorities depending on the number of new arrivals and can be drawn down over 2023/2024.

The fund can be used to improve community infrastructure and can be allocated to sports clubs, parks, music and arts organisations.