Press Statement on the abandonment of plans for Universal Health Insurance
The commitment to a system of Universal Health Insurance based on the Fine Gael Fair-Care policy was never a feasible proposition. Rather than facing up to that fact early in the life-time of the Government, the Cabinet seemed happy to accept the Minister for Health’s assurances on the viability of the plan. The result is that the past five years have been wasted focusing on it while our health services crumbled and we still have no plan for the future.
From the outset the Fine Gael policy on UHI had no clear evidence base yet it still made its way into the Programme for government.
An expert Implementation Group could have established its unsuitability as far back as 2012 but they were specifically precluded from looking at alternative models on the instruction of the Minister for Health at the time.
I believe the expert group should immediately be reconvened to consider and make recommendations on the most appropriate models of funding.
“There were also promises in the Programme for Government regarding expanding and properly funding primary care, which never materialised. These were supposed to be prioritised in the first term of Government but rather than enhancing Primary Care, funding was actually cut. Effective primary care is essential to reform no matter which model is chosen.”