Fair Care is Fine Gael’s Healthcare Plan for Ireland. It is an ambitious plan but also one which will reform Irish healthcare completely. Its main aims are to end hospital waiting lists and to achieve free GP care for all. I invite you to read the main principles below. For more information on Fair Care, please visit www.faircare.ie
Five Key Principles of FairCare
Fine Gael’s approach to healthcare reform is essentially pragmatic. We are not bound by ideology or dogma, but will apply to Ireland best practice from other successful health systems. However, FairCare is underpinned by five key principles:
1. ACCESS is a right – not a privilege
In health, delayed treatment can lead to pain, complications and even death. More than 150,000 people are currently waiting for an outpatient appointment, some for up to 8 years, and 40,000 people are on the inpatient waiting list. Each day, an average of more than 300 people have long-term waits on trolleys. These delays are unfair and some may well prove fatal.
2. EFFICIENCY is not an optional extra
The Government seems to believe that efficiency is somehow an optional extra. It is no surprise, therefore, to find Ireland ranked 24th in Europe for value for money. FairCare, by making the system much more efficient and transparent, will allow more patients to be treated, and help ensure that taxpayers’ money is not wasted.
3. FAIRNESS: Equal treatment for equal need
The two-tier health system undermines SOLIDARITY within society, and encourages duplication and waste by creating two administrative systems. However, any move to abolish peoples’ right to health insurance would reduce choice. The fairest solution is to ensure that everyone has health insurance.
4. CHOICE for all
Fine Gael is not proposing the abolition of private health insurance. We are proposing that Ireland ultimately moves to a single-tier UHI system, where everyone has mandatory health insurance and can choose from a range of insurance plans. In other words, we want to give choice to everyone.
5. ACCOUNTABILITY: The buck stops where?
The HSE has allowed the Minister of Health and her Department to distance themselves from responsibility for the health service. This has created a huge democratic deficit and removed vital leadership. Fine Gael will place responsibility for the health service back where it belongs – with the Minister.