IMO Submission to the Department of Health on the White Paper on Universal Health Insurance
The Irish Medical Organisation supports the introduction of Universal Health Care and was one of the first organisations to advocate for a Universal Health System in Ireland. However it is important not to confuse Universal Health Insurance with Universal Health Care - Universal Health Insurance (UHI) is simply a financing mechanism. Health care services are both a public good and a scarce resource. The proposed model of UHI introduces the Market Model of Healthcare (See IMO Position Paper on the Market Model of Health Care – Caveat Emptor, 2012) provision under which healthcare becomes a private good regulated by the state. Once healthcare is handed over to private enterprises this scarce resource becomes complex to manage and almost impossible to take back.
In its current form, the IMO seriously questions the ability of the chosen UHI model to deliver on
- Equity of Access
- Timely Access to Care
- Quality of Care and Value for Money