Thursday 19 January 2017

Universal health insurance not the cure for all ills

Our health service has been mis-managed for decades, so why give the State more money to mess it up again?

Published 27/04/2014 | 13:00

Half of people are in favour of UHI in theory, but only a quarter have faith it will be implemented successfully
Half of people are in favour of UHI in theory, but only a quarter have faith it will be implemented successfully
Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll results

THE burning question about Universal Health Insurance (UHI) is why anyone would possibly trust the Government to have more of a grip on healthcare than it already does. And that is borne out in today's Sunday Independent/Millward Brown poll. While 52 per cent of people like the idea of Universal Health Insurance, only around half that number (28 per cent) have any faith in it working. The spirit is willing, you could say.

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Health is possibly the greatest single failure of government management in this country, and this is a country with a lot of failures in government management. It is a system that no one even understands enough to fix anymore; a system where all the constituent parts, from the Government to the doctors to the administrators, appear to be at war; where the last attempt to fix it involved putting another layer of management on top of it that made it somehow more unmanageable. It is a system that routinely fails people at the most vulnerable points in their lives. And now we are being asked to put complete faith in the Government to have a total monopoly on health, for there to be no alternative, no choice.

People are supposed to be apologetic for having private health insurance these days. Even if you are part of the half of the population without a medical card, the noble thing to do is apparently to submit yourself to the public health system anyway. Because the two-tier system is wrong and unfair.

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