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Harneys Measure Increase the Cost of Healthcare - Mclellan

27 April, 2007

Sinn Féin candidate, Sandra McLellan, said that the rushed measures introduced by Mary Harney will raise prices for those taking out private health insurance and further the social divisions in health care provision.  It is a further step down the privatisation of the health service at the expense of those that depend on the public health service.


Sandra McLellan said:  “The measures introduced by Mary Harney around health insurance reinforce the government’s strategy of privatising the health service and further undermining the public health service.  They will push up the cost of private health insurance by as much 20% and leave those unable to pay with a vastly inferior health service. They will not bring benefits for patients but are designed to increase profits for the shareholders of the insurance companies.”


“The government’s flawed policies and gross mismanagement of the health services means that more and more people have taken out personal health insurance for themselves and their families. Many of these people are on relatively low or moderate incomes, do not qualify for the medical card and are concerned that if they rely totally on the public system they will face long waiting lists and poorer healthcare. Irish people now pay for health care through their taxes, through PRSI and incredibly through a tax on savings they may have in a bank.  Fifty per cent of the population are also paying a fourth tax, health insurance.  Many people fall between two stools and do not qualify for the medical card nor can they afford private health insurance.”


“Mary Harney is driving the government’s policy towards ever greater privatisation of our health system following the disastrous American model. The two-tier system is both inefficient and unfair. We should be going in a new direction – towards a fully public system, accessible to all who need it and funded by fair, general taxation.  If in government Sinn Féin will reverse this trend and move towards a universal system where all the people are treated according to need not according to how much they can pay.”

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