A letter in today's Indo (registration required) states that GPs in Ireland are now charging upwards of €60 per visit. This is incredible. What's more incredible is the utter lack of reaction from the Minister for Health to this crisis. Last year, following a report showing that families were going without needed health care because of the cost of GP visits, Sinn Féin put in a Parliamentary Question to the Minister asking what she intended to do about this. Her response? That a GP's charges are a "private matter" between the GP and their patients, and that it's none of her department's concern.

This, of course, is nonsense. High GP costs result in more people seeking routine treatment in A&E wards, as well as sometimes causing minor and easily-treatable illnesses to become serious and thus require hospital care. If Mary Harney honestly does not believe that this is her department's concern, she's in the wrong department.

At the time of the cabinet reshuffle I said that it was absolutely insane for her to be given this post. After all, two of the issues which most energised the electorate to vote against the Government in 2004 were the PDs and health care. So putting a PD in charge of health care was probably the Government's least logical response. Judging from the latest polls, it appears I may have been right.

1 comment:

Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.

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