Saturday 21 January 2017

Universal healthcare was promised but has not been delivered

Published 21/09/2015 | 02:30

This summer, free GP care was eventually extended to our youngest and oldest citizens but no other progress has been made towards extending healthcare coverage
This summer, free GP care was eventually extended to our youngest and oldest citizens but no other progress has been made towards extending healthcare coverage

An essential element of this Government's 2011 promise of a 'democratic revolution' was a 'universal single-tiered health service, which guarantees access based on need, not income'. It committed to do this through universal primary care and universal health insurance.

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These were radical health policies. If delivered, this Government would have been the first in the history of the State to introduce universal access to healthcare.

Progress towards universal primary care has been delayed and deferred as promises to give GP care without charge to some of our sickest people was never acted upon. Meanwhile, plans for universal health insurance (UHI) are at best on hold as the Government refuses to publish the UHI costings that it commissioned, which show that the UHI model that it proposed is wrong and unaffordable.

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