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Barnardos’ cautious welcome for health initiative

THE  formal launch  on Wednesday of the Government’s plan for delivering universal health insurance, promising all Irish people access to healthcare based on need and not ability to pay, has been welcomed by Barnardos.  The children’s charity has  warned, however, the plan must not be thwarted before it has begun by unrealistic budgeting. Fergus Finlay, CEO of Barnardos, said, “We welcomed the Government’s vision to reform healthcare in Ireland in 2011 and continue to believe this vision will serve all children and families far better than the current system. It is the most radical reform of the delivery of health services in years and aims to establish a more equal and equitable system which is well needed and long overdue. “Budget 2014’s pledge to introduce free GP care for the under sixes was a small step in the right direction, but was operating in a policy vacuum. This White Paper on Universal Health Insurance must be translated into equal access to …

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