8th February 2002
Private Healthcare should be paid for privately
Sinn Fein spokesperson on Health Aengus Ó Snodaigh has questioned why a proposal that private patients should meet the full costs of private care, published in a draft report of a Government advisory body, was dropped from the edited public versions.
The draft report of the National Economic and Social on Equity of Access for Hospital Care was published yesterday at a plenary session. Aengus Ó Snodaigh, the Sinn Fein candidate for Dublin South Central said:
"Increasingly in this state access to quality healthcare is dependent on ability to pay and not on need. Public patients wait years for treatment, which is available to private patients within weeks. And taxpayers subsidise the hospital stays of private patients to the tune of 165 million euro annually.
"It is for these reasons that there will be so much disquiet at the decision to remove proposals to end public funding of private health care - in effect ignoring a major issue of inequality within the system.
"Sinn Fein firmly believe that public funds should not be used to subsidise private healthcare. And tax incentives for private medical care should be removed and all abuses in waiting times, appointments and consultants should be ended. This has to be one of the central policies of any health strategy which wants to ends the two-tier health service that currently exists.
"The authors of the draft report should let us know why this important point was not included. Private healthcare should be paid for privately."ENDS
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