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Editorial: VHI hike is bad news for all of us

HARD-pressed pensioners and families have been left reeling by the massive price hikes that will be imposed by VHI from February. The rise in premiums of up to 45pc is disastrous, not just for subscribers but for everybody, because many subscribers will inevitably be forced to drop their health cover entirely as a result.

This will heap further pressure on our already struggling public health system, which cannot cope as it is.

Rival insurers will be hoping to reap the benefits from the savage blow being dealt by VHI to its subscribers.

But many people who were already struggling to pay high premiums will just abandon health insurance altogether and take their chances with the public system.

It is unrealistic to expect families to find up to €1,000 more a year for their VHI cover at a time when wages are dropping and when child benefit payments have just been slashed.