The Cabinet discussed the White Paper on universal health insurance today for the first time.

It was agreed that the Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children will have a key role in the process of consultation on the issue.

A commission will be established to make recommendations to Government on the care to be provided under UHI.

There have been several versions of the White Paper, with a variety of suggestions included on the range of services that might be provided under the system.

The Government has decided that including suggestions on the services may be seen as prescriptive for the consultation process and so the White Paper is to be amended to take account of this.

The White Paper will be discussed again next week and the Government will make a decision on publication.