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A question that should not be asked? January 21, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

The health spokespersons of the main parties were asked on RTÉ’s Sean O’Rourke programme if they had private health care. Here are their responses.Simon Harris, Fine Gael: “Yes I do and I’ve said that before.”Stephen Donnelly, Fianna Fáil: “I don’t think this question should be asked, but I am going to answer it anyway. I have had private health insurance since James Reilly first brought in whatever thing he did that people got penalised.” Róisín Shortall, Social Democrats: “Yes I do and the aim is to ensure that people don’t feel they have to have private health insurance.”Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin: “The answer is I don’t. Most people in my family don’t so yet again I find myself in a room where I have a very clear vested interest in ensuring that the public health service is as good as it can be. We should be focusing on public medicine.”

Why ever not?


1. CL - January 21, 2020

Is it possible that class interests are influencing government policy on health and housing?

““Four members of Cabinet are landlords, as are five Ministers of State. Nearly one-third of members of the Fine Gael parliamentary party are landlords,” Solidarity TD Mick Barry said during Leaders’ Questions.

“Fine Gael is not going to act against its own class interests,” he said as he called for a cleansing of our “modern den of thieves”.


2. Joe - January 21, 2020

“I have had private health insurance since James Reilly first brought in whatever thing he did that people got penalised.”
Impressive grasp of his brief demonstrated there by Donnelly.

Liked by 3 people

sonofstan - January 21, 2020

Facts at his what- do -you- call- them things at the end of your hands….

Liked by 1 person

3. Pasionario - January 21, 2020

Something like 40% of the Irish population has private insurance of some kind because we don’t have a fully universal public system.

The question would have more validity in the UK, where Labour politicians have attracted criticism in the past for going private.


WorldbyStorm - January 21, 2020

Nah, it’s still a solid question to ask politicians who are in a position to actually change that fact.


WorldbyStorm - January 21, 2020

And I wonder is it really a function of a lack of a fully universal public system or one of the contributing factors to that lack. For example, as we know immediate care for a medical emergency is actually generally good in this state. But timescales in terms of access to consultants or to elective procedures or to semi private rooms is what medical insurance opens up. The latter is kind of cosmetic, the former not so much, and elective procedures potentially important. Are those driven by lack of a universal system or by a two tier system where there is both private and public medicine, often in the same institution?


sonofstan - January 22, 2020

“And I wonder is it really a function of a lack of a fully universal public system or one of the contributing factors to that lack.”

Exactly that.
Once you’re in the system in Ireland it is, as you say, pretty good, but the hurdle of having to fork out for the first GP visit, in order to get a referral to a hospital is an unacceptable deterrent.


WorldbyStorm - January 22, 2020



4. makedoanmend - January 22, 2020

Fair play to the SF candidate. She also had facts at her finger tips:

““The answer is I don’t. Most people in my family don’t…”

A fact many working people instantly comprehend.

The SF candidate is the only one in the room amidst a bevy of the modern day meritocric polity who shares a common feature/plight with many or most working families. Hers is a concrete example of precarity in a system of capital hierarchy.

Most people know the system is rigged against them by now, they just often don’t know to what extent their representatives are involved or complicit.

The question as posed starkly highlighted the gradient of attitudes and actions of the politicians asked the question. In fact, it was a great question given our voting system based on preferences.

Liked by 1 person

tafkaGW - January 22, 2020

Absolutely. Health care is a class issue, especially in the RoI, with it’s fairly abysmal two tier health system which essentially leads to the poor dying before their time.

Fair play to SF for framing it as such.

Liked by 1 person

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