Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Health Billy Kelleher has said the absence of any detail on how much the Government’s new compulsory health insurance will cost every member of the public means the plan published today is fundamentally flawed.
Deputy Kelleher said: “We’re now into the fourth year of this Government and not only is the plan on Universal Health Insurance (UHI) extremely late it lacks basic information on the price people will have to pay once it is implemented. The Department of Public Expenditure has estimated that this new charge could cost up to €1,600 a year per person. This amounts to a major tax increase which many people will simply not be able to afford.
“This plan has effectively been rubbished by key sections of Government and it is clear the Minister doesn’t have the support or confidence of his colleagues to deliver it. But still the Minister ploughs on, publishing a half-baked strategy. It is simply unacceptable that the Government would try to hide the true costs of this plan until local and European elections have taken place.
“Four years ago James Reilly outlined his bold new vision and he told voters at the time that no one would pay more than they were paying for health insurance at that time. The reality could not be more different. Minister Reilly has presided over massive increases in the cost of private health insurance and his decisions as Minister have actually driven more people out of the market.
“Minister Reilly’s reign at the Department of Health has been characterised by chaos and dysfunction. There is no public confidence or confidence among frontline health service workers that Minister Reilly can deliver real reform of the health service that improves equality of access. Far from controlling or reducing costs to the public for health care the Minister has presided over ever increasing costs.”