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Can you tell me about the Irish healthcare system?

(2 Posts)
LadyJaye Sat 02-Jan-21 14:24:35

Hello from Scotland! Happy New Year to you all.

Usual family discussions over the festive period about politics etc, and the topic of the NHS arose and how, if possible, it could be amended/improved.

The Irish system came up, but as none of us are Irish, we were a wee bit stumped past 'nominal charge for GP visits'.

Would be really interested to learn more about how it works (from a personal PoV, rather than what I can Google!).

As you can probably tell, we're quite a competitive family when it comes to doing homework. Many thanks! smile

OP’s posts: |
Blogdog Sat 02-Jan-21 17:23:39

How long have you got OP?!

All citizens are entitled to treatment within the public hospital system free of charge. As you’ve noted GP visits (except for people under 6 or over 70, which are free) cost around €50-60 per visit and dentist visits and prescriptions must also be paid for. There are measures in place to provide all of these free to those of low means or who are particularly vulnerable but the vast majority of people have to pay.

The public hospital system is vaguely similar to the NHS however is generally underresourced and waiting lists for non-urgent procedures can be very long. The care for urgent and critical illnesses is generally excellent though. A&E visits cost €100 unless you have a referral from your GP or fall into one of the low income/vulnerable categories above.

Roughly half of the population has private health insurance. The main reason for this is to allow quick access to consultants and to certain procedures without having to wait the length of time a public appointment may take. In some cases it can also allow a level of care or procedures which may not be available under the public system. It also provides an element of choice - in the public system you are limited to the consultant you are allocated, whereas with private health insurance you can ask your GP to refer you to a consultant of your choice. It can also entitle you to private/semi private rooms and treatment in a private hospital (which are generally more comfortable than the public ones).

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