Election 2020: How are parties going to implement Sláintecare?

Next government will determine whether the health consensus will hold

Fine Gael’s previous failure to realise its promise of universal health insurance still haunts it Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Fine Gael’s previous failure to realise its promise of universal health insurance still haunts it Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Sláintecare’s greatest strength is that it was devised by an all-party Oireachtas Committee with a specific remit to reach political agreement on a 10-year plan to reform the health service. This strength is also its weakness, making it extremely difficult for the political parties’ to carve out their health pitch in this election.

How do the political manifestos compare to the 2017 Sláintecare report they signed up to? The terms of reference of the Oireachtas Future of Healthcare Committee specified “the need to establish a universal single-tier service where patients are treated on the basis of health need rather than on ability to pay”. Election 2020 is a first in Irish history where all politicians of every political hue agree on the future direction of healthcare, the first time all parties commit to universal healthcare.

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