Thursday, 24 March 2011


Dominic Haugh, a member of the Socialist Party in Limerick has written an excellent critique of Fine Gael's 'FairCare' plans through analysis of the Dutch model on which it is based. Dominic demonstrates that:

1. The Netherlands has gone from a two-tier health system to a three-tier health
system. Almost half a million people are now uninsured or defaulting on the
health insurance payments.
2. Private health insurance companies are findings ways to circumvent the ban on
‘risk selection’.
3. The current cost of the Universal Health Insurance basic package in the
Netherlands is €1194 per person for this year. On top of that Employers deduct
a further 6.9% of a workers income up to a ceiling (€2233 in 2009).
4. With annual income running at €53,000 per household, the annual cost of
health insurance is somewhere between €4,525 and €5,625, or 8.6 to 10.7 per
cent of household income.
5. Since the introduction of Universal Health Insurance in 2006, premium costs
have risen by 41% and could double from the current rates by 2014.
6. More than 50% of the hospitals in the Netherlands are facing bankruptcy as a
result of the introduction of Universal Health Insurance in 2006.
7. There has been a significant and continuing increase in healthcare costs since
the introduction of Universal Health Insurance in 2006.
8. The necessity to negotiate and implement 30,000 Diagnosis Treatment
Combinations (DBCs) between private health insurance companies and
individual hospitals has led to a massive bureaucratisation of the system.
9. It is not known how many hospital beds there actually are in the Netherlands.
10. The Dutch healthcare system has growing waiting lists and short-notice
postponement of operations.
11. The Dutch healthcare system is no better than average in comparison with
other wealthy countries.
12. 41% of people say that the quality of the health system has worsened since the introduction of Universal Health Insurance in 2006, while 8% indicated that it had improved.

Read the full article here.

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