Colum Kenny: Patients are last people our health service is serving
Rising premiums prove the system is failing to meet those targets once set for it, writes Colum Kenny
Published 10/01/2010 | 05:00
HEALTH is getting dearer. The New Year started with bad news for many VHI subscribers. Ireland's main health insurer is pushing up prices again, bringing its standard "Plan B" subscription for an adult from €721 in 2008 to about €972 this year.
The Government says that prices generally are falling. But the overall cost of health care is rising steadily for individuals. VHI fees have increased by about a third in just two years. So too has the amount that individuals must pay before the State refunds any further cost of medicines. And tax relief on most medical expenses has been slashed by more than half.
Wages may be down, but there is no obvious drop in medical bills. Privatisation has not meant lower costs for patients and the Government's health strategy is in trouble.