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Shoddy proposals and pet demands – a new low for Ireland’s health policy

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on April 14, 2016

My analysis from the Irish Independent on 14 April 2016

Repeated surveys show that the state of our health system is the people’s number one concern. Yet Fine Gael’s health proposals (covered in previous articles) are very weak while health gets barely three pages in Fianna Fáil’s ‘Priorities for Government’ document. (more…)

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The Fine Gael foundation document fails to provide a clear vision for a fair health service

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on April 9, 2016

Analysis from the Irish Independent on 9 April 2016

It seems like the drafters of Fine Gael’s ‘foundation document’ presented to Independent TDs last Tuesday live in a different world to most of us mere mortals. A cursory read of the health section would lead you to believe that we lived in a country with a decent health service. (more…)

Government’s health insurance model is a textbook case of flawed policy making

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 18, 2015

Analysis in the Irish Independent on 18 November 2015

This Government promised universal healthcare its 2011 Programme for Government. It said everybody would have free GP care by 2016, and compulsory universal health insurance would start in 2016 and be completed by 2019. (more…)

Parties need to reach consensus on fixing our health service

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on November 7, 2015

Analysis from Irish Independent on 7 November 2015

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Einstein’s cliché applies perfectly to political and management responses to the myriad of crises in our health system. (more…)

Universal healthcare was promised but has not been delivered

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on September 21, 2015

Analysis from Irish Independent on 21 September 2015

An essential element of this Government’s 2011 promise of a ‘democratic revolution’ was a ‘universal single-tiered health service, which guarantees access based on need, not income’. It committed to do this through universal primary care and universal health insurance. (more…)

Straight-talking Leo must come clean on UHI cost

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on July 1, 2015

Column from Irish Independent on 1 July 2015.

Health minister Leo Varadkar is known for his straight-talking. But he is not being totally candid in relation to the cost of his own government’s Universal Health Insurance (UHI) policy. He is choosing not to publish detailed costings presented to him on May 21, 2015, which shows the Government’s model is overly expensive.

The ESRI costings, seen by the Irish Independent, reveal that Government’s flagship health project of UHI as promised in the Programme for Government would cost between 3.5pc and 10.7pc more than the current system. Critically, they find that the main drivers of the high costs would be the insurance companies’ profits and the fact that there would be multiple payers for healthcare in the form of competing health insurance companies.

(more…)

Government’s life-time community rating is propping up the two-tier health system that they promised to dismantle

Posted in Uncategorized by saraburke on March 13, 2015

Column from Irish Independent on 13 March 2015

The central plank of this Government’s ‘democratic revolution’ for health was to develop a ‘universal, single-tiered health service, which guarantees access based on need, not income’. This was to be achieved by giving free GP care for all by early 2016 and rolling out universal health insurance in 2016. (more…)

A pitch perfect start to the health ministry

Posted in Articles by saraburke on August 8, 2014

My anaylsis on Leo’s first media outings in the Irish Independent from 8 August 2014 (more…)

All is changed on the contentious issue of medical cards

Posted in Articles by saraburke on May 30, 2014

Enda Kenny promised to fix the “medical card mess”, while Minister James Reilly floated the idea of a third tier to medical card access. Yesterday’s announcement by Junior Minister Alex White means they might both deliver on these significant promises. My analysis from the Irish Independent on significant shift in policy on medical cards from Irish Independent on 30 May 2014. (more…)