An investigation by the Irish Times has revealed a series of major health-related schemes that have been “dubbed” as “biggest scams” in Ireland, including a €30,000 “health levy” which was supposedly to be paid for by the state for all health professionals.
In reality, the €30 and €50,000 bills were actually meant to be a part of the state’s budget to cover the costs of “the most expensive hospitals in the country”.
The health levy was a part-funded part of an EU-funded programme, the European Commission Health Strategy, which was introduced in 2015 to reduce the costs and improve the quality of health services.
The scheme was intended to pay for health-care systems to be more efficient and provide “a fair, level playing field” for the public sector.
The health ministry’s website describes it as an “integrated programme that delivers a new approach for health services across the whole of Ireland”.
This is a reference to the health levy, which is intended to be part of a €29.5bn programme to “modernise the health system” across the country, including “improving care, reducing costs and improving access to care”.
A similar “integration” programme for the private sector was announced in 2016.
The first “health” levy bill, on January 20, 2016, was billed to a “specialised service provider” for €30 000.
The next bill, which went to a hospital in Ballinamore, Co Kildare, was €50 000.
“Health” in the bill The health-tax scheme was first proposed in December 2015, by then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The plan was described as a “reward for quality and efficiency” in a Government paper released the following month, and by February this year, the government had “launched a detailed plan to bring down the health-cost burden”.
The Health Department claimed that the “health tax” would be paid by “local authorities, health providers and patients”.
The bill was billed at a rate of 1.9% of the average household income, which “could provide a major boost to health spending” and “would enable local authorities to reduce expenditure on care”.
But it was also billed as part of “a comprehensive health strategy” by the Minister for Health, Leo Varick, and was only to be “completed” by 2019.
The government’s own report in March 2016, which also promised a “big jump in expenditure on health services” and said “a number of new services would be introduced” would have “been anticipated” to be funded by the “tax”.
In addition to the tax, the Health Department promised to “provide financial support” to “community health” organisations.
In May 2016, the Government announced it was launching “a new, holistic strategy” for health that would “reduce the cost of care” and be “a key element of the delivery of a new public health strategy”.
A “major leap forward” was promised for the “transformation of the Irish health system”.
It would be “more efficient and effective” and would “improve the quality and availability of health care”.
It promised to reduce costs “by up to €5,000” per person, with “a further €2,000 per person a year in cash assistance”.
The plan also included a “medical-related fee levy” and a “new contribution to the general public” to help pay for “health services”.
A health “service” was to be defined as “a health-based service that is provided by a healthcare professional”.
The Department of Health’s website described it as a healthcare service that “provides comprehensive, comprehensive and quality care”.
“This will be achieved by working closely with health professionals and the community to meet their needs and challenges, while protecting their privacy and protecting their health and wellbeing.”
The department’s “health service” definition was then updated to include a “care facility” and the “care delivery system” as a health service.
The new “service delivery system”, described by the Health Minister as “an integrated system of care and delivery”, was supposed to “enable the delivery and delivery of all health services in Ireland”.
However, according to the Health Ministry’s own data, it is not clear that “care facilities” are defined as facilities that provide services, but rather as facilities used to deliver “services”.
It is also not clear whether “care providers” are actually “care professionals” or whether they are simply the “primary provider” of services.
In fact, the department’s website is silent on the subject, and its website includes no information about how it arrived at the “service-provider” definition.
The department also claimed the “medical fee levy”, which was supposed “to provide financial support for community health organisations”, would be funded “through a new contribution to public coffers”.
In its own report, the Department of Justice (DOJ)