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Monday 22 September 2014

Taoiseach denies ‘empty rhetoric’ on health plans

Cabinet approves first step toward UHI

John Downing, Political Correspondent

Published 04/03/2014 | 15:26

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This pressure is adding to ongoing factors such as a generally ageing population, advances in medical technology and increasing incidence of chronic illness.

THE GOVERNMENT has taken the first step towards free medical care for all - funded by compulsory health insurance within five years, the Taoiseach said today.

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Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin accused the Government of ‘empty rhetoric’ on health plans while ordinary  people paid more for health insurance and services were being continually cut back.

Mr Martin also said that Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, and Public Expenditure Minister, Brendan Howlin, had warned that the planned system would be very expensive.

But the Taoiseach Enda Kenny said Cabinet today approved the first draft of the plan for the most radical health service shake-up in the State’s history.

He said this plan will be published in the next few weeks and Government will get the people’s views through a major consultation process, heading towards full implementation in 2019.

“We will explain the move to a single-tier, fair and efficient system instead of the current two-tier system which is both inefficient and unfair,” the Taoiseach said.

Mr Kenny told Mr Martin that Fianna Fail in government increased health spending by 320 pc – from €3.6 bn to €15bn and in January 2011 there 569 people on trollies in hospitals across the country.

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