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Health insurance white paper could be published in coming weeks

The long-awaited plan could come before the cabinet as early as Tuesday.
Feb 21st 2014, 12:01 PM 9,048 78

CALLS HAVE BEEN made for the immediate publication of a draft white paper on government plans for universal health insurance.

Reports today said that the white paper would recommend making health insurance mandatory, with costs deducted from those who didn’t but coverage.

The 86-page draft paper has already been reportedly the source of a schism within the government, with Labour’s Brendan Howlin reportedly against the plan based on cost.

Today, calls were made to publish the document as soon as possible.

Sinn Féin’s Caomhín O’Caoláin said that the ‘extensive leaking’ meant the paper should be published.

“The long-promised and long overdue White Paper on Universal Health Insurance has been extensively leaked in the past week and is clearly in the possession of several journalists. Yet it has not been published and members of the Oireachtas and the general public are being treated with contempt as Ministers Reilly and Howlin carry on a war of leaks.

“Our health services are in crisis and plans for their future must be fully and openly debated – not the subject of a dog-fight between rival ministers in government.”

The Department of Health told TheJournal.ie that the paper is not being released today, but will be before the cabinet health committee on Monday, before going to cabinet in the coming weeks.

Read: Reilly denies keeping Labour ministers “in the dark” on UHI

Read: ‘We get on extremely well’: Brendan Howlin ‘annoyed’ by report of rift with James Reilly

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Paul Hosford

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