Union raises concerns about Universal Health Insurance

The IMPACT trade union is criticising the Government's plans for Universal Health Insurance.

The union has commissioned a report which has found that the Government's preferred competitive funding model for UHI, which is employed in the Netherlands, could lead to a three-tier health system and rising hospital deficits.

IMPACT is also criticising the proposals for independent hospital trusts, saying they will not necessarily lead to better services.

National Secretary in the union's Health and Welfare Division, Louise O'Donnell, has said they have not been consulted at all on any of the changes and that has had a severe impact on health care workers.

Ms O'Donnell said: "Morale is rock bottom and one of the reasons that we did this report is that it is not possible to have a debate on this anywhere, there has been no debate.

"We are concerned that the public doesn't understand what the intention is in relation to universal health.

"It has been put out there that you will have free GP, which of course is welcome, but it is 'what price are you going to pay for having a free GP service?' and there has been no discussion in any public forums about this."

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