Letsbuyhealthcare is yet another insult to workers and further proof that the government has no intention of implementing Sláintecare or anything remotely like it according to Cathie Shiels, Workers’ Party representative for Finglas/Ballymun.

“This new service allows people, who do not have a medical card or health insurance, to buy vouchers or ‘healthcare coins’ to use towards treatment with their GP, hospitals or clinics, therefore building up a sort of fund to pay for private treatments as they need them.”

“This is an incredibly cynical attempt to normalise the fact we have one of the poorest healthcare systems in Europe. Anyone who tries to spin this as altruistic is either deluding themselves or just blatantly lying to the public. The name itself tells you everything you need to know.”

“Currently, there are almost one million people on waiting lists for hospital treatment, an absolutely shameful figure. This new business model is designed to appeal to those who want to cut out the waiting time for treatment in public hospitals, therefore providing capital to private hospitals”

“We need a fully funded NHS-system, not another scheme where workers are forced to pay for their treatment in the private sector. It is disappointing that the government clearly has no interest in providing this service and also clear that they have no commitment to tackling the growing waiting lists. They would rather push people into the hands of groups like let’s buy health or other private insurance companies so as to move more patients out of the private sector, thereby superficially reducing waiting times while also increasing health inequalities: if you can afford to pay you can afford to be sick. A properly funded NHS system is the only way to ensure all workers have access to decent healthcare and reduce the ever growing health inequalities.”