Five-star clinics pushing up health premiums
* I am no apologist for Health Minister James Reilly, but Turlough O'Donnell (Letters, June 19) has it wrong: private health insurance premiums are increasing because there are more five-star clinics and hospitals where people can get treated quickly and expensively.
Before these institutions existed even private patients had to wait a certain length of time for treatment, whereas now treatment is all but instantaneous. Great for patients but bad for insurers.
It is easy to scapegoat the minister for his plans and blame the public health system. Most of the private insurance income generated in public hospitals is for emergency treatment and if it was profitable for private hospitals they would be more interested in this type of care.