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We need to take stand over VHI increases


The people of Ireland have been left feeling powerless with regard to job losses, cuts to their salaries, imposed levies, bailing out the banks, and so on. We're a broke nation and yet here's the VHI set to impose another increase in its health premiums to add to our misery.

I'd like to propose a solution to the VHI's disgraceful behaviour. If every VHI member in the country cancelled their membership, the VHI would have to think again. While there is nothing we can do about our reduced salaries and bank bailouts, let's make a stand where we can and show the VHI that this is one step too far.

There are other insurance companies in this country -- maybe they could also step up to the mark and show their willingness to offer their services at a better cost when people need an alternative.

A Corcoran
Dundalk, co louth

Since the dawn of the economic crisis two years ago, the kind of measures taken by the Government and other institutions are definitely geared more to protect capital, profits and the 'I'm all right Jacks' of this country rather than the people at large.

The latest bad news has just come from the VHI announcing its exorbitant premium increases.

If these increases are necessary to square the books in VHI, do they have to be so stiff?

Experience teaches us that, when faced with increases in running costs, from the smallest shopkeeper to the largest bodies in Ireland, they raise the price of their goods and services by a percentage higher than the one strictly necessary to recover their losses due to these higher running costs.

And secondly, the VHI measures are deep-rooted in the health system in operation in this country, namely the HSE.

An investigation into hospital charges would reveal that since the HSE was instituted, cutting the salaries of consultants, well-paid managers, supervisors and the likes it created, has not been an option.

So the finger should not be pointed at the VHI per se, but at the HSE and trade union leaders who protect the fat salaries in the health service. For the funds to run an efficient health service are in the pockets of the people who run it.

Concetto La Malfa

Irish Independent