Private health insurance

 

Sir, – I am due to renew my private health insurance at the end of this month and I have a dilemma. Should I renew it?

I have an average income and can “afford” health insurance if I see it as a priority, but it is a massively expensive insurance that seems to be driven by fear rather than common sense.

And why is it so complex? There are currently in excess of 330 different policies available across the three providers, who all have staff members whose sole function is to explain policies to customers precisely because those policies are so complex and there are so many of them. The very fact that an enterprising individual can run a successful business that helps consumers choose the most appropriate and best-value policy speaks volumes.

All of this is countered, I know, by the ever-increasing waiting lists for consultants and treatments in our public health system, which is precisely why the private health insurance business is able to exploit the fears of 45 per cent of the population.

Honestly, I’d far rather pay my hard-earned money in tax for a better public health system. Is Sláintecare the answer? I hope so, but I can’t help wondering whether a fully functioning public health system will always be just beyond our reach because, as a society, we’ve become far too used to seeing private insurance as a “necessity”. – Yours, etc,

SIOBHÁN WALLS,

Bayside,

Dublin 13.