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Government must make clear its health insurance plans – Ó Caoláin

18 April, 2012 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has called for “full transparency” from the government about its plans for universal health insurance. He said:
“The Irish Times on 17 April published a briefing from the Department of Health for the new group established by Health Minister, James Reilly TD, to draw up detailed plans for the government’s proposed system of universal health insurance.
“While universal health insurance is supposed to be a corner-stone of government policy, we have been given very little information about how it will work in practice. The Department of Health briefing raises more questions than answers.
“What does a ‘standard package of curative services’ mean? The Government claims to want to create a single-tier system but change based on private health insurance, with competing companies, risks creating a system of several tiers, with people on low to middle income receiving the ‘basic’ services while wealth would continue to buy better healthcare.
“There is no mention in this briefing of the right to healthcare which should be the constitutional and legal basis of reform.
“It is totally unsatisfactory that information on the Government’s proposed major changes in healthcare funding and delivery should be leaked out in this manner. The public and the Oireachtas need to be involved in this process from day one. We need full transparency. This briefing and any plans relating to the proposed reforms should be published in full and addressed in detail by the Oireachtas Health & Children Committee.
“Sinn Féin’s policy is for a single-tier, universal healthcare system based on equality of access and funded from fair and progressive taxation, rather than an insurance-based model.” ENDS

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