The Irish Health System: Unequal, Unworkable, Unfair


Unaffordable GP care. Two year consultant waiting lists. Bed shortages. Staff shortages. Ambulance shortages. Unsafe working conditions. Patients seriously ill on trolleys. Chronically underfunded critical care. Soaring health insurance costs. Infection-riddled hospitals. Insufficient acute rehabilitation. Dangerously overworked medical staff. A&E closures. Abusive residential care environments. Declining doctor to patient ratios.

This is the Irish healthcare system. We are in the midst of a dangerous national health crisis.

It is now normal for an average of 20 people to lie on trolleys in Cork University Hospital on a daily basis. These are seriously ill people. These are elderly people. These are people in pain.

It is now normal to wait two years for a consultant appointment in Cork. It is then normal to wait a further two years to undergo a procedure in one of Cork’s three main hospitals.

It is now normal to wait 5 to 7 hours to be seen in Cork’s only 24-hour Accident and Emergency department. It is even normal for this department to temporarily close its doors because it does not have the staff or beds to help those in need.

Visiting a GP in Cork can cost up to €60. Health insurance costs are rising annually, rising out of the reach of most of the population. Costs of nursing and residential care homes are prohibitive, yet full-time carers are increasingly unable to afford staying at home.

Are we proud of this? Are we proud to support a system that excludes and endangers those who cannot afford it? Are we happy to support a government that blatantly disregards the basic right of its people to healthy, happy lives? If the answer to this is no, then vote for change.

More money will not fix this broken system. The Dept. of Health receives millions of euro every year, millions that are supposed to make everything better. It has not worked. The system is getting worse, not better.

Our healthcare system needs to fundamentally change. The way we spend money on healthcare needs to change. The People Before Profit Alliance is prepared to make these changes. We can, and should, have a healthcare system accessible by everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. We should have a healthcare system that respects and values those who work within it. We deserve a healthcare system that works with and for a happy and healthy Ireland.

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