Updated: 19/04/17 : 06:05:59
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To Sign or Not to Sign - Still Waiting Campaign

The Still Waiting Campaign are calling for an end of private health insurance within our public hospitals. They claim that health insurance companies seem to want to charge for health insurance yet offer nothing in return. Therefore, it is time to end the two-tier health system.

 In a statement Cyril Brennan, of the campaign said, ‘Over the past week, we have seen reports that people should be wary about signing a Private Insurance Patient Form within Irish public hospital. To put it simply the insurance companies are saying you shouldn't pay twice for effectively the same treatment and not sign the waiver, and if you choose to sign the waiver the cost could be 10 times higher, and would see premium increases in the future. But here is the contradiction, not all insurance premiums are the same.

‘If someone decides to purchase insurance and chooses to go with a basic package, which does not include cover for private hospitals, we must ask the question, why are Health Insurance Companies in the first instinct offering health insurance for public hospitals only?

‘Currently Ireland's health service is in crisis with over 650,000 people waiting on lists, many people during the years of austerity cut back on many things but they often didn’t cut back on having private health insurance but instead cut back on their package.

‘When choosing to be treated as a public care patient the cost is €80 per day capped at a total of €800 in a year. This often gets misrepresented and people who are not applicable for medical cards and cannot afford insurance sometime perceive health care costs per treatment or visit which is untrue.

Health care is paid for through general taxation and the maximum a public patient pays is €800 per year.

‘So, by signing the waiver, you opt to be treated as a private patient and this costs the insurance company €813 per day.

This is why insurance companies are now informing their customers about their rights to healthcare as a taxpayer so they are not left to foot the bill.

It shows the absurdity of the two tier system and indicates that it is time to end it.

Link: Sligo Today 18/4/2017