Private hospitals claim health insurance changes will cost jobs
Sector concerned at reduction in tax relief announced in budget
Minister for Health James Reilly. Changes announced in the budget will reduce the tax relief available for private health insurance. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
Private hospitals have warned that the Government’s move to reduce tax relief on private health insurance in the Budget could jeopardise jobs in the sector.
Catherine Whelan, chief executive of the Independent Hospital Association of Ireland, said it saw the measure as another Government initiative which could destabilise the private health insurance market.
She said the private hospital sector was concerned that the reduction in the tax relief on health insurance subscriptions could result in even more people dropping their cover.
Ms Whelan said 170,000 people had already dropped out of private health insurance since the start of the economic downturn.
She said there was a concern that this could jeopardise the private hospital sector which currently employed around 8,400 people.
Ms Whelan said the Government had suggested that only those with “gold -plated” health insurance would be affected by the move announced in the Budget. However she suggested that in fact virtually all subscribers would be hit.