Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Ceisteanna (37)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

37. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health the budget he has in place to facilitate the introduction of universal health insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21257/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I intend to use existing resources to the greatest extent possible in preparing for the introduction of UHI. Overall responsibility for policy development and for driving the advancement of the groundwork necessary for implementation of UHI will be discharged by my Department from within the existing staffing complement and budget. As this policy advances, we will draw on resources of other agencies including the Health Insurance Authority.

This year there will be very modest expenditure on an independent thematic analysis of the submissions made as part of the consultation process on the White Paper on UHI. Further initiatives that are likely to give rise to additional costs over the coming months include the establishment of an independent Expert Commission to make recommendations to Government on the overall scope and composition of the future health basket and to provide costed options in relation to the services for inclusion in the standard UHI package.

Finally, my Department is currently embarking on a major comprehensive analysis of the estimated costs associated with the introduction of UHI in conjunction with various key agencies, including the Health Insurance Authority and other Government Departments. The work involved is complex and the need to engage additional expert analytical support for this purpose will be kept under review as the work progresses.