FG to promise free health insurance and doctor visits

FG to promise free health insurance and doctor visits

Fine Gael is today proposing universal health insurance and free GP care for everyone.

The party is launching its FairCare campaign today which also includes an end to waiting lists and the introduction of primary care units.

The party is describing the plan as the most radical change to the health system since its establishment.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said that the health plan incorporates the best elements of the "world-renowned" Dutch health system and the very successful system in the North that "eliminated hospital waiting lists through the establishment of special Service Delivery Units that rigorously managed waiting times and bed allocations in hospitals".

Commenting at the launch, Kenny said: "In Government, Fine Gael wants to deliver radical change across a number of key areas, including the health service. We have looked at the best systems around the world and are satisfied that a modified version of the famous Dutch health system is the plan we will implement.

"This model delivers universal health insurance for all which means that FairCare eliminates the two-tier system of health that we have at the moment and makes the patient the central focus of the health service, not the bureaucracy and the infrastructure as often seems the case today.

"We will deliver the plan in our first term in Government and can deliver it within existing budgets.

"In Holland, they spend less per head of population on their health service than we do but achieve more. If it works for the Dutch, it can and will work for us.”

Commenting at the launch, Dr Reilly said: "Under Fine Gael's FairCare Plan every household will have access to free GP care.

"Ireland’s health system is now ranked 24th in Europe in value for money. Ireland can do better.

"Fine Gael will give Ireland the health service that we deserve within five years.

"We will slash waiting lists using the methods adopted successfully in Northern Ireland. We will introduce a “money-follows-the-patient” budgeting system so that hospitals are paid for how many patients they treat. Patients will no longer be seen as “costs” to the health service, but as valuable resource.

“We will develop new primary care buildings with mental health facilities where groups of GPs with other healthcare professionals will treat patients free.

"In these buildings patients will have access to x-ray, ultrasound and endoscopy so they can be diagnosed quickly in their communities by the doctors who know them.

"Finally, we will deliver universal health insurance where every man, woman and child will be insured, some fully subsidised, some partially subsidised .

“I have travelled the world as Ireland’s representative on the World Medical Association. I know we can deliver a premier health service in Ireland."

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