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Rethink on UHI because of high costs

The Minister was speaking as the ERSI and the HIA published reports on the costs of the plan.

“The Government remains committed to effective universal healthcare, which is defined as access to affordable, effective quality care for everyone in a timely way,” said Minister Varadkar.

“A system of Universal Health Insurance is still our preferred model to achieve universal healthcare.

“However, the high costs for the particular model of health insurance analysed in the new ESRI report are not acceptable, either now or any time in the future. The ESRI report therefore vindicates the Government’s decision not to rush the implementation of UHI.”

However the announcement was criticised by both by the IMO and opposition politicians.

“UHI will go down as one of the biggest cases of political miss-selling in recent history, “ the IMO President Dr Ray Walley said.

The union said that UHI should be shelved and Government should focus on development of universal healthcare.

“The Minister for Health’s statement claiming that the abandonment of a fundamental government commitment is a vindication of government really is beyond parody,” said Fianna Fáil Health Spokesperson Mr Billy Kelleher TD.

Minister Varadkar said it would be a matter now for the next government how to proceed.

“While the decision on the funding model could be made towards the end of the term of the next Government, I do not believe it could be implemented in the term of the next Government as these reforms will take at least five years to complete, in particular the increases in capacity and staffing.”

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