Video: Thomas Pringle says inequality is the reason for high Donegal and Derry COVID-19 rates
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He said the peripheral counties had more pockets of deprivation.
“I have been studying the instances and prevalence of Covid-19 in Donegal and areas around Donegal and our neighbouring counties in the North. The areas with the highest levels of deprivation have been most impacted.
“The higher levels of Covid can almost be mapped completely to the less affluent areas. Why? It is because an unequal society causes more people to become ill and die,” said Deputy Pringle.
He made the comments in opposition to the Health Insurance (Amendment) Bill 2020 in the Dáil.
“We facilitate a private health system - this Bill is facilitating it - and we will pay €350 million out of State funds to support wealthy people and people who can afford to have private health insurance and to fill up our hospitals so that people who cannot afford it cannot get into them.
That is crazy. If the Minister of State had written this as a comedy, people would say it could not be true, but that is what we are doing. We are facilitating that so that wealthy people can access the health services over people who cannot afford them who are more likely to be sick and will actually cost the State more in the long run because they cannot afford private health insurance,” he said.