Opinion Editorial

Saturday 24 March 2018

No clean bill of health for VHI

AN announcement of up to a 45pc increase in premiums for some VHI customers was never going to be good news; but for it to come in the same month as most workers feel the first bite of the austerity budget in their pay packets, seems like adding insult to injury.

The bulk of the health insurer's 1.35 million subscribers will be hit with a hefty 15pc hike. However, those on the popular Plan B and Plan B Options face punitive increases of between 35pc and 45pc. Considering that many of these are elderly people and have no choice but to pay, the injustice in the scale of the rises is underlined.

The increases come on the back of the worst figures for the number of patients left on trolleys in our hospitals, an issue which is understandably of grave concern to the public. Yet just like the inexorable rise in VHI premiums, there seems to be no impetus from the Government to deal with our dysfunctional health service or the black-hole within it which swallows up public funding.

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