An accountant on how to improve Ireland’s healthcare system – The Irish Times

As our healthcare system begins to return to normal levels of activity following the Covid-19 pandemic, we would like to hear from doctors, nurses, paramedics, medical secretaries, hospital administrators, canteen workers and others about a change they would like to see in our healthcare system.

It can be something simple that annoys you day to day that can be easily fixed, or it can be a small change in practice or attitude that would make life easier for everyone. Email: [email protected] with your suggestion.

Dara Hogan


As a retired accountant, I find it unusually difficult to make meaningful comparative comparisons between the 321 different health insurance plans offered by the four insurers in the Irish market. Such decisions are unlikely to be possible for most families when choosing a health insurance company. Because the different policies offer a variety of services, conditions and restrictions. It’s almost as if insurers don’t want families to be able to compare different policies. That health insurance agency (HIA) website helps with the task of comparing plans, but even with this tool it is still an extremely complex task.

standard plans

The only small change I’d like to see is that all four health insurers would be required to offer, for example, four standard health plans (in addition to their current wide range of policies).

These four standard plans could be positioned at the lower end, lower middle, upper middle and top of the market. Typically they would offer services roughly categorized as (1) public department plus basic services (2) semi-private room plus low-cost services (3) semi-private room plus more expensive services, and (4) private room plus top-level services.

The Department of Health and/or the HIA would be tasked with specifying the four standard plans with insurer contributions. Insured families could select one of the standard tariffs and, if required, book a limited number of special extra services of their choice, e.g. B. Maternity allowance. Hospitals may need to align their pricing with some or all of the four standard plans, e.g. B. Some public hospitals may not offer private rooms.

This approach would radically simplify the task of comparing health insurance policies and allow families to make true, comparable comparisons when renewing their coverage.

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