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Policy issues concerning Health

31 per cent of working-age people with a disability are employed, which is less than half the rate of those without a disability, according to Social Justice Ireland’s latest Quarterly Employment Monitor.

The current approach to housing policy in Ireland is not working; the private sector will never build social housing units on the scale required.  Government must commit to building sufficient social housing units to eliminate the current housing waiting list.  This is the only way to address Ireland’s ongoing housing and homelessness crisis.  This is a key finding of Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2017.

Social Justice Ireland welcomes the publication of the Committee on the future of Healthcare Report.  In particular we welcome the recognition that Ireland’s health system should be built on the solid foundations of primary care and social care.  In order to deliver the modern, responsive, integrated public health system that the report envisages it is vital that the necessary budget is made available.

Ireland’s social contract is broken.  The legitimate expectations of citizens are not being met.  This is most obvious in areas such as housing and homelessness, a two-tier healthcare system, an ongoing failure to provide rural broadband and high levels of poverty and social exclusion, especially among children.  2017 is the first year of a new century for Ireland and now is the perfect opportunity to develop a new and radical social contract for Ireland’s second century. 

There will be nearly 1 million people aged 65 and over by 2031 – an increase of 86.4 per cent.  Of these 136,000 will be aged 85 or over by 2031, an increase of 132.8 per cent.  Now is the time to plan Ireland’s investment in services and infrastructure. This is one of the key issues highlighted in the National Social Monitor 2016.

A brief snapshot on how Ireland is performing in terms of healthcare and some policy proposals.

The focus of the Programme for Government and 32nd Dáil must be on investment in infrastructure and services.  Lack of investment in housing, health, childcare, rural broadband and education threatens economic growth and stability.   The latest research from Social Justice Ireland  in ‘Choices for Equity and Sustainability’ shows that a lack of investment is undermining Ireland’s economic and social stability. 

Healthcare is a social right that every person should enjoy. It is also an important factor in economic success. People should be assured of the required treatment and care in times of illness or vulnerability, but this is currently not the case in Ireland. A two-tier system exists where private patients have quicker access to both diagnostics and treatment than do public patients. 

The Healthy Ireland Study published today highlights the need for the introduction of a sugar sweetened drinks tax in order to combat the levels of obesity in Ireland and associated chronic conditions.

We are focussing far too much on the performance of the economy and not nearly enough on issues such as aging, social housing and sustainability, that have major implications for the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole according to the National Social Monitor 2015 published by Social Justice Ireland.  It goes on to argue that a balance is required between the various aspects of life if the wellbeing of this and future generations is to be secured.

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