Fianna Fáil Health spokesperson Billy Kelleher has described a promise by Leo Varakdar to reduce medical costs for families as sheer hypocrisy given Fine Gael’s track record of supporting privatisation of healthcare and driving up costs for families.
According to an analysis undertaken by Fianna Fáil, out of pocket health expenditure has rocketed to €4bn in addition to over €13.7bn in expenditure by the HSE funded from taxation. This is based on Parliamentary replies from the Department of Health as well as information published by the HSE and covers everything from prescription medications to GP visits, private medical insurance and nursing home care.
Deputy Kelleher commented, “Under the disastrous policies pursued by Minister Varadkar and Reilly out of pocket health costs now represents an average of €3,000 per household with many families spending substantially more. As a result Ireland is spending considerably more per capita on healthcare than most European countries despite our relatively young population.
“Policy decisions by the government have driven up the cost of healthcare for families. These include changes to tax relief on private medical insurance, a 200% increase in prescription charges and higher charges for in-patient treatment. The threshold for the state drugs repayment scheme has been increased from €132 a month to €144. As a result medical inflation has massively outstripped general price rises in recent years. That is Fine Gael’s legacy on healthcare,” said Deputy Kelleher.