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Private Health Insurance

You want private health insurance if you're moving to Ireland! Why bother? Because of waiting lists for any number of non-life threatening problems.

As an example, the Southeast’s regional hospital (Waterford Regional – my own local), recently had a Pain waiting list of 44 people. I confess that I am a person who would prefer to deal with the pain of a red hot poker applied to my lower backside sooner rather than later.

Pick up private health insurance and you get a “Go to the Head of the Line Card”. When the Spanish Inquisition has you on the rack that’s gotta count for a lot.

The Public Health Care System is remarkable, but despite billions of dollars pumped into the system over the past few years, it remains swamped. Patients can end up waiting months if they rely solely on the public system. That's where private health insurance comes in. There are roughly 4.1 million people in the Irish Republic and about 2 million of them are covered by private insurance over and above the public health entitlements.

There is universal agreement among all experts that the two tier system of health care - public and private - is hugely unequal. If you possibly can, you want private health insurance. That's the bad news. The good news is that private health insurance is a remarkable bargain in comparison with all other industrial nations. A family of four can typically be insured for reasonable sums, particularly if you're part of a group plan.

The Full Site

The Full Site details private health insurance options and gives an overview of the three companies licensed to provide health care in Ireland. The problem of getting coverage for pre-existing illness is discussed. Getting such comverage or even any coverage at all can be a major problem for those over the age of 55. But, there are some alternatives that I've winkled out. And a minority of you may be able to carry over into Ireland your currrent overseas medical insurance.

Other topics include the Drug Subsidisation Scheme, doctor visits, the problem of waiting lists and your entitlements under the Irish health system.



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