Can the Irish A&E match the French?

A chara, – Majorie Markey (August 7th) extols the virtues of the French healthcare system and complains about the experience of the Irish healthcare system – had she experienced it.

She might be interested to know that she is not comparing like with like. Her healthcare experience was free because she is a European citizen able to avail of the European Health Insurance Card. French citizens are taxed 20 per cent of their income toward social insurance. This social insurance fund pays 70 per cent of the cost of treatment. French citizens take out private health insurance (mutuelle) for the remaining 30 per cent for therapies, vision, and dental. So with an income of €40,000, social insurance would come to €8,000 and citizens also need private insurance to the tune of €200-€500 per annum. For comparison, PRSI is taxed at 4 per cent, and circa 40 per cent of the population has some form of health insurance and about 40 per cent has a medical card. – Is mise,


Stillorgan, Co Dublin.