•Customers abandon health cover
The numbers of people giving up private health insurance has soared this year.
Some 43,000 customers abandoned cover in the six months between January and June.
This compares with a drop of 37,000 for the whole of 2009, and 31,000 for 2010, according to the Health Insurance Authority.
It means since December 2008 the numbers with private cover has dropped from 2.29 million to 2.186 million. However, nearly 48pc of the population still has private cover.