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'UHI will disadvantage the poorest and the sickest' says IMO

The Taoiseach said that UHI will be delivered in the lifetime of government as the people voted for it.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said that the universal health insurance (UHI)will be delivered in the lifetime of government as the people voted for it.

Speaking on RTE’s The Week in Politics he said said universal health insurance would be introduced in 2019 stating that the current two-tiered health system is unfair.

He said that the government were moving towards the implementation of a one-tiered system adding that currently there are variances in costs that need to be addressed.

He said: “When people get into the service they always talk about the quality of the service but it is the blockages in the system that have caused all the trouble here.”


Kenny added that there was a lot of speculation going around about the new system, adding that under the new initiative primary care which includes access to services will be included in the UHI.

“The point is when UHI is introduced primary care is part of that cover, if you want to pay for the quality of the room then people can pay more,” he said, adding that services across the board will be covered by UHI.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) today strongly criticised what they called “the continued failure of the Government to publish the White Paper for Universal Healthcare”.

The state that comments from the Taoiseach and Minister for Health this weekend are a cause of concern to the IMO as it appears that the Government “is intent on an insurance model which will lead to turning healthcare into a commodity not a service and on in which insurance companies will be making decisions based solely on profit, not on patient care. It is only the wealthier that will benefit in a system where there is a standard basket of healthcare with added benefits being available for purchase by those who can afford it”.

The added:

This is nothing more than an continuation of a two tier healthcare system which will disadvantage the poorest and the sickest.


Dr. Ray Walley, Chairman of the GP Committee of the IMO said: “the repeated promises by Government on free services is meaningless when there are no plans, no resources and no negotiations. It is disingenuous of Government to suggest that doctors are resistant to change, nothing could be further from the truth, doctors are crying out for change but change that is properly resourced so that quality care can be delivered.”

The IMO said they support a Universal Healthcare system that “truly delivers in terms of equity and quality care”.

Read: Reilly: Some say we can’t afford UHI – but we can’t afford the current system>

Read: Health insurance white paper could be published in coming weeks>

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