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Harney and Health

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Your correspondent Dr X (Tuesday 6th March) asked how private health subscribers would secure private treatment if proposals to limit consultants' output to 20% of their clinical output are implemented. The answer is that a large proportion of these subscribers will opt out of this insurance if and when national waiting lists are reduced and the health service reverts to one-tier based on need rather than capacity to pay. With reduced economies of scale, risk equalisation and medical inflation, the cost of private insurance would become prohibitive and cease to offer any queue jumping benefits to the majority of subscribers.

This begs the question as to why the Government is failing to treat waiting lists with the same urgency as the introduction of tax-subsidied private hospitals and reform of the private heath insurance which accounts for only a small fraction of heath expenditure. Instead of breaking the VHI into a series of competing companies, the Government should absorb this State-owned organisation into the Social Insurance Fund, adjust health contributions and purse a single-tier, publicly-owned  and -operated health system for the great majority of citizens.

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This page contains a single entry by Brian published on March 6, 2007 5:03 PM.

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