76,000 people quit private health cover

More than 76,000 people have quit their private health insurance in the past year, with record numbers getting medical cards.

However, a leading patients’ advocate has warned that the mass exodus from the private health sector and the bill for the 1.8m medical card holders will have to picked up by the taxpayer.

“Here we have people falling out of private health insurance and the public system has the highest ever medical cards issued in the history of the State,” said Stephen McMahon, chairman of the Irish Patients’ Association. 

“That is going to continue growing. The only way people are going to be covered is that it falls on the rest of society to pick up the tab through taxation and other things.”

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