2.12 million or 46 per cent of the population in Ireland have private health insurance and of these 2.12 mio, approx. 1.1 mio are members of the first and originally state-created health insurance VHI. That leaves more than 3.6mio that are NOT VHI members.

In 2005 the VHI opened so called VHI SwiftCare clinics in Dundrum, Swords and Cork, SwiftCare Clinics are walk-in, urgent care clinics that provide treatment and advice for patients with minor injuries and illnesses. Access to professionals with no significant waiting times was extremely attractive to many in need of urgent medical help and therefore these clinics have been used by lots of people, despite their relatively expensive price (VHI members got a discount, others had to pay full price).

But from 01 September things will change for 3.6mio people: Access to QUICK professional care (for a price) will be closed to all non-VHI members. People that are not a member of the VHI will be rejected by the VHI Swiftcare clinics.

The VHI is fully within their rights to restrict access if they think it makes sense. The Swiftcare Clinics is a commercial operation and they seem to think that VHI members get a bad services in the clinics because non-members clog up the system.

But at the same time, everybody has to decide if that is the level of care they expect their health service provider to show. Keeping in mind that nobody ever got anything for free but at least even people that were not VHI members could (for a price) get a good level of service in the past and not anymore in the future.