Fair Care Health Policy

4th November, 2010

Fine Gael has pledged that health insurance scheme based on that used in the Netherlands would be fully introduced into Ireland within four years of a Fine Gael government being formed. The Dutch system is ranked number one in Europe compared to Ireland, which is ranked number 15. There are no waiting lists in the Netherlands and there is free access to GPs.

Holland spends almost exactly the same as Ireland for its health services though it has over double our population. Ireland is ranked 24th for value for money compared to the Dutch system, which is ranked second. The Dutch system pays far less per patient but delivers a much higher quality of healthcare.

In order to achieve this system Fine Gael would introduce a three phased 4 year plan.
Step one:
A substantial reduction in waiting lists through setting non-negotiable targets for hospitals and tax incentives to GPs to encourage them to build facilities to carry out some of the diagnostic and aftercare work that is currently being undertaken by hospitals.
Step two:
Change the basis of payments to doctors and hospitals. Under the “money follows the patient” (MFTP) concept doctors and hospitals would only be paid for the number of patients they treat. During this phase universal health insurance will be made available for free for under-18s and over-70s.
Step Three:
In the fourth year of operation, a single-tier health service will be set up with mandatory insurance for every citizen of the State. The State will subsidise the less well-off up to 100 per cent of the premium.

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