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Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Reilly: Universal health insurance will not put the state's finances at risk

The Minister for Health also said the system will “end the unfair two-tier health system we currently have.”
Feb 15th 2014, 3:35 PM 9,123 58

THE MINISTER FOR Health has moved to dampen concerns that Universal Health Insurance (UHI) will pose a threat to the financial stability of the state.

In a statement, James Reilly reiterated that “strong measures to control costs” will be introduced with the scheme.

A report in today’s Irish Times stated that Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin has warned that UHI could add as much as €5 billion to the government’s healthcare budget.

He noted that his Department has responsibility to look at the cost involved in each government proposal.

Minister Reilly has also stressed that the scheme is needed to “end the unfair two-tier health system we currently have”.

“It is hoped that a White Paper with key information on the intended shape of UHI will be published in the next weeks,” he said, after which public consultation will take place.

Minister Howlin also denied a rift between himself and the Health Minister, saying that the two get on “extremely well”.

Background: Brendan Howlin ‘annoyed’ by report of rift with James Reilly >

Column: A national debate is needed on healthcare reform >

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Nicky Ryan

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