[Sinn Fein]

30th June 2003

Minister should not authorise VHI price rise

Sinn Fein Health spokesperson Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD said the Minister for Health and Children Micheál Martin should not authorise the 8% fee increase being sought by VHI. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``This proposed hike of 8% would add greatly to the burden of those families with little choice but to take out health insurance because they do not qualify for the medical card. Providing such cover for themselves and their families is a major challenge for those on lower incomes. Having broken its promise to extend medical card cover to a further 200,000 people the Government must not allow what would in effect be a 26% rise in VHI fees since the General Election ? 18% last year and 8% this year. Such increases will leave more people in the income gap where they do not qualify for a medical card but cannot afford health insurance.''

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