Thursday, 22 March 2012
Finance Bill 2012 (Certified Money Bill): Committee and Remaining Stages
Sean Barrett (Independent)
I thank the Minister and Senator Bradford for the contributions. There is an indication from Milliman that the excess costs of the VHI operation are a far bigger factor than risk. There is even evidence that the problem of old people’s health costs are being exaggerated, with people usually being pretty healthy until the last six months of life. The foundation of the case may be open to question and there is some literature to that effect. Milliman has questioned the way the protection afforded to VHI has been absorbed into an excessively expensive health service, particularly with regard to very long stays that are not in the interest of patients either. The Minister would know this from his supervisory role over a very large health budget from the Department of Finance. These issues should be examined and the Minister for Health, Deputy Reilly, has told us he has asked Milliman to consider whether some of the recommendations can be implemented in VHI, as they appear to offer substantial scope for improvement. I thank the Minister for giving his responses to the points all afternoon, as this is the last recommendation I am proposing.