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Majority in Favour of Universal Healthcare

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The 2011 Pfizer Health Index report, which was launched on the 24th October 2011, revealed that 1 in 5 Irish adults would place free universal access to healthcare, as one of their top three healthcare priorities, with 2 out of 3 being broadly in favour even if it would increase income tax rates by an average of 1%.

The nationwide survey, conducted on 971 adults, aged 16 and over, also found a 10% reduction (about 120,000 or 10,000 per month) in the number of people with private health insurance. By contrast, there has been a substantial increase in the number of medical card holders. Up from 36% last year to 41% this year, it corresponds to 220,000 new medical cards issued mostly to people from unskilled working class and unemployed backgrounds. For more details see page 15 of the report.

As part of Fine Gael's election campaign, their 5 Point Plan included the introduction of Universal Health Insurance between 2016 and 2020. Many countries are struggling with the cost of their universal health insurance schemes, most notably our nearest neighbour, the UK. A modest 1% increase in income tax is not very likely to be enough to cover the cost of introducing free healthcare, however the human cost of not having it surely outweighs any financial costs.

Healthcare is an issue which

Healthcare is an issue which affects society at every level. Providing patients with the best medical treatment available should be a top priority for any healthcare professional.

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