Universal GP care, 2,800 nurses and 500 consultants in Labour health plan

Universal GP care, 2,800 nurses and 500 consultants in Labour health plan
Joan Burton pictured at last night's leaders' debate. Picture: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX

Labour have said they will introduce universal GP care and take steps towards universal health care if re-elected.

Their government colleagues Fine Gael have rowed back on universal care and insurance in recent months, saying the most recent vision for Universal Health Insurance was too expensive.

Analysis by the ESRI showed that the Government's model could cost the state up to €2bn a year to run, and that the average cost of the proposed scheme for an adult could be up to €2,500 per person, depending on what the cover includes.

Health Minister Leo Varadkar said that model was simply too expensive, so other forms of insurance would have to be designed instead. He said Universal Health Insurance wuold not be introduced in the lifetime of the next Government.

Unveiling their health policy today, Labour said they would introduce 2,800 new nurses and 500 new consultants, and that they had set aside €50m in their plans for emergency department reforms.

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