You are here

Policy issues concerning Health

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.

The cost of obesity could more than quadruple within the next 15 years to a total of €1,175 a year for every man woman and child in the State unless more is done to tackle the problem, a joint Irish Heart Foundation and Social Justice Ireland report has revealed.

Healthcare is a social right that every person should enjoy. People should be assured that care is guaranteed in their times of illness or vulnerability.  Securing services is one of the key policy areas that must be addressed as part Social Justice Ireland’s  Policy Framework for a Just Ireland.   A full analysis of  the challenges and in Healthcare and our proposed policy response is contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  This chapter is available below.

By 2025 the number of people living in Ireland aged over 85 years will have doubled. One clear implication of this will be additional demand for healthcare services and facilities. This is just one of many examples highlighted in Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2014 which highlight the need for longer-term planning by Government if Ireland is to promote the common good and ensure the wellbeing of its growing population.

The WHO Regional Office for Europe  has just published the Review of social determinants and the health divide in the WHO European Region, coordinated by University College London’s Institute of Health Equity. 

The HSE has published its National Service Plan for 2013 which outlines the details of planned savings of €721m in 2013.  The plan aims to reduce staff numbers by 4,000 this year (4% of the workforce) which will have an inevitable impact on frontline services.

Austerity is not just bad for the economy. The latest evidence shows that it is also bad for people’s health. 

Health spending in Europe in 2010 fell for the first time in decades. This is one of the many findings in the "Health at a Glance: Europe 2012", a new joint report by the OECD and the European Commission. From an annual average growth rate of 4.6% between 2000 and 2009, health spending per person fell to -0.6% in 2010. This is the first time that health spending has fallen in Europe since 1975. In Ireland, health spending fell 7.9% in 2010, compared with an average annual growth rate of 6.5% between 2000 and 2009. 

The Government has decided on the structure of the healthcare system which is to follow the dissolution of the HSE. The full Government statement is reproduced below. There are serious questions that arise from the structure proposed by Government. Will it be more efficient than the HSE? Will it deliver an integrated system? Will it give priority to the development of REAL Primary Care Teams.
 
FULL TEXT OF GOVERNMENT STATEMENT

Pages