Interesting Ireland Healthcare Facts That Will Surprise You | Kidadl


Interesting Ireland Healthcare Facts That Will Surprise You

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Ireland is a tourist destination known for its enchanting beauty, history, and lively atmosphere.

The Isle of Ireland consists of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is a popular holiday destination as it is full of awe-inspiring sights like the Cliffs of Moher.

The Isle of Ireland is famous for road trips, discovering fantasy castles, eating exotic seafood, and sipping around. Apart from exploring the towns and cities, the intriguing natural wonders and the charming villages make up Ireland's stunning countryside.

There are many reasons to visit this captivating and pleasant tourist destination. One of the best reasons to visit Ireland is to learn about its history. The history of Ireland dates back to 10000 years ago, from the first prehistoric settlers to the Celts who arrived in Ireland in around 500 BC. The Vikings settled in the late eighth century till the British invasion, and they fought with the British for independence.

Ireland has a diverse and exciting history evident in the forts and castles left behind in many parts of the country. Most of the top tourist attractions are woven into history, which is one of the many reasons you should visit Ireland.

Let's not forget its healthcare system! Ireland is one such country where its healthcare services come with the help and support of one government department. Let's discuss more in detail to give you a piece of quick information about the healthcare system of Ireland.

If you enjoy reading our article, also read about White House security facts and Finland facts.

Ireland Healthcare Ranking 

Ireland healthcare shows an outstanding commitment towards public healthcare. Around a third of the population is granted free medical care. Many people who are not eligible for the free medical healthcare card have to pay a lot for their medical fees, and many have to choose private sector hospitals. If you stay in Ireland, here is a guide to some of the healthcare facts in Ireland that will surprise you.

People have to pay the consultation fees for each doctor or hospital visit in the public sector, private sector, or universal health insurance. Around 100% of the population have state health coverage insurance; however, only 37% have it entirely free. Approximately 40% of the population choose private insurance or private health insurance policy.

The average cost to see a doctor cost is approximately 56 USD (50 euros). For a medical emergency room visit, the average price is 113 USD (100 euros); you also need to have a referral from a doctor even though it is for free. For only one person with private health insurance, you need to pay fees of around 2,179 USD (1,925 euros).

Until October 2020, the number of community pharmacies in Ireland was around 1,891, which might have increased now. The number of public hospitals in Ireland is 48, and the number of private hospitals is more than 19.

Ireland has a good healthcare system. It is one of the best in the world. The public satisfaction ratings for outpatient is 90%, whereas for inpatient treatments it is 85%. The satisfaction percentage with General Practitioners is at 97%.

All persons who come under the category 'normally residents' in Ireland are privileged to enjoy healthcare of the public healthcare system. So, 'normally residents' are those residents who are ordinarily the residents of Ireland. The Health Service Executive (H.S.E) may require the following proof for a person to be 'normally resident':

The person residing in Ireland should have proof of property rental or ownership. Proof of utility bills in the concerned person's owned residence address, proof of bank accounts, pension accounts, and transfer of funds, as well as proof of a work permit visa, residence permit or visa, and an employer statement if possible.

Health Service Executive (H.S.E) care is administered and funded through the process of general taxation. Depending on the income of individuals, they need to pay subsidized fees to avail themselves of the healthcare services.

Ireland's healthcare ranks fourth according to the World Index of Healthcare Innovation, and its average score is 59.67%. Germany ranks third, and its score is 59.79%. Ireland's private healthcare sector ranks seventh, and its overall score is 58.16%, its fiscal sustainability ranks fourth, and its score is 74.50%. The island is fueled with vigorous economic growth. Also, Ireland ranks eighth place on Choice with a score of 61.48%.

History Of Healthcare In Ireland 

The healthcare system in Ireland is quite good; it comes under the help and support of one government department. The different services offered by the healthcare system are from neurosurgery to child and family welfare services. The health care services are categorized as primary care, acute care, community services, continuing care for mental health, social inclusion, mental health, and family welfare services. The health care system is mixed with a range of public system service providers, community providers, and private providers in different health care areas.

Ireland has experienced profits in the healthcare system for the last few years, and many investments have been made in the public health system. For many years, Ireland's life expectancy rate was relatively low compared to other European countries. An improvement in the public health insurance sector leads to an increase in life expectancy to around 79 years old and is only one percent less than other European countries.

The history of healthcare in Ireland goes back to the 1720s when the first hospital was founded here. Apart from being treated in homes by a family doctor, people were treated in hospitals. These hospitals were funded by legacies, public subscriptions, donations, medical officers, and other well-off people. Patients had to apply for the 'red ticket,' meant for poor law guardians whenever they wanted to visit the public healthcare hospitals for emergency care or avail themselves of the dispensary services without charge.

In 2001, the government brought new schemes to increase the availability of general practitioners or family doctors services and establish primary care team members like general practitioners or family doctors, nurses, therapists, health care assistants, caretakers, social workers, etc. As a new direction policy set in 2001, this policy was known as primary care policy. In comparison to other European countries, primary care service is free. In Ireland, those with a medical card receive primary health care for free, whereas you have to pay for other emergency room visits.

By 2005, Ireland had a difficult time in providing its health care services. It led to the proposal of another health care policy that should be more efficient, unified, less vulnerable to the residents, and less small-town pressures. This new national health insurance policy service was known as Health Service Executive (HSE), and it was expected to solve everything. The Health Service Executive (HSE) replaced the eleven health boards. The Department of Health and Children was responsible for making policy-related decisions, while the HSE was responsible for managing, administering, and implementing the health insurance policies.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) is working hard for the people, although like any other policy, it is still thriving to do better. Today, the healthcare system in Ireland is one of the best in the world. 

Ireland Healthcare System Pros And Cons 

Around 2000, although the expenditure in the health care sector in Ireland has increased, many things went wrong with the Irish healthcare system. It had many underdeveloped primary and community healthcare services; even people with a public medical card had to wait long at least a year to avail themselves of the free medical services and have unequal access to hospital care. The hospital care offered was poor quality and lack of infrastructures like unavailability of hospital beds and staffing issues.

The main poor primary and community care service is due to the long waiting list. A person has to wait for at least a year for specific medical procedures like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language therapy services in the community services. Around 72,000 people are believed to wait in a queue. As such most people go for private health insurance services or private coverage or to private hospitals. Those people who can't afford it sometimes go without the service.

There has been pressure from the political parties to reduce the waiting time for public patients for treatments. Despite the effort, the waiting list of patients in public hospitals remains the same. By the end of 2013, the HSE committed that no senior citizens would be on the waiting list for more than eight months. From then onwards, the public healthcare system in Ireland has improved a lot and is one of the best in the world.

There are many pros and cons in the Ireland healthcare system. One of the pros is that Ireland's health insurance services have improved, better health throughout the Irish population, and is one of the best in the world. The con is that for providing better health insurance, tax payments have increased.

Although, as pros, the health services of Ireland have improved, the disadvantage is that many people can't afford healthcare due to economic problems. It leads to the overall decrease in receiving healthcare by financially weak people.

Another advantage of the Irish health insurance system is that health services are available for all. However, the issue of the Irish health insurance system is that it has a few complexities. The health service sector is funded by taxation, meaning no particular policy is taken out to avail the services. However, it is estimated that only 37% of the population has a medical card. Only 9% of the population who have the GP visit card can see the doctor for free. So, everyone else has to pay the subsidized fees, meaning that you still need to pay to avail specific health services.

Because of the fees and the long waiting lines in the public healthcare service, around 40% of Irish residents go for private health insurance policies, one of the highest percentages among UK citizens. Students from outside Europe need to take private health insurance policy. They need to have a private insurance policy in advance before applying for a student visa.

So, though public healthcare service is free, and you don't have to pay any fees for the state insurance policy, the money is funded through taxation. So, as a permanent resident, if you qualify for a medical card, almost all public health services are free. If you don't qualify for a medical card, you must pay fees for general practitioner visits, medicines, hospital beds, and other services, although the rate is subsidized.

Ireland also has certain services free for everyone, but you have to sign up for them. For example, the Drugs Payment Scheme, where you have a limit of 163 USD (144 euros) to spend on prescription drugs. Another is the Long-Term Illness Scheme, where the cost is covered for long-term illness conditions. Also, there is the Maternity and Infant Care Scheme for maternity care that provides medical costs.

Ireland healthcare facts you did not know.

Cost Of Healthcare In Ireland 

All residents of Ireland are privileged to receive free health care through the public health system. The health care service is free for maternity care and child care up to the age of six. The HSE manages it, and the funding is received through general taxation and subsidized fees.

As mentioned above, Ireland comes under the help and support of one government department. Any person living in Ireland for at least one year is considered by the Health Service Executive as 'ordinarily resident.' They are entitled to category 1 (full eligibility) and category 2 (limited eligibility) health services.

People who are not residents of Ireland for at least one year must reside in Ireland for at least one year to become eligible and avail themselves of the public health services. Dependents of such persons should contact the HSE to know their eligibility criteria.

More than 30% of the population of Ireland has medical cards. These medical cards allow permanent residents to avail free health services and medicines.

People without medical cards can also avail themselves of a wide range of hospital and community health services for free or by paying a nominal fee.

Those people who have a GP visit card can visit the general practitioners for free GP visits. However, you need to pay for your prescribed medicines and hospital charges. Elderly persons who are 70 years old and above and children under six years are entitled to the services for free with the GP visit card.

All the private patients who don't have any health insurance cards can see any general practitioners by paying the consultation fees. A general practitioner's charge is usually between 50 to 70 USD ( 45 to 70 euros). Before registering, you should confirm the charges.

The cost of healthcare services in Ireland is high. Ireland is the only western European country that does not offer universal coverage on primary healthcare services. 60% of the population is known to pay the fees with their own money for treatment. The average price is 58 USD (52 euro) per general practitioner visit. Also, around two-thirds of the population pay 163 USD (144 euros) per month for medicines and other primary care services.

In 2014, Ireland had the second-highest unmet needs in terms of healthcare services among the European countries due to cost or long waiting lists. A medical emergency room visit without a GP card is around 100 euros. Even spending a night in the hospital will cost you approximately 90 USD (80 euros) per day. Even the people who sign up for the Drugs Payment Scheme pay 163 USD (144 euros) per month.

Ireland has specific services that are free for everyone, but you need to sign up for them. However, despite all the potholes in some areas, Ireland is one of the best countries in the world, providing the best healthcare services. The private insurance health service provider is one of the best in Ireland, although it is a bit costly.

From 2021, Irish-British citizens can apply for the UK Global Health Insurance Card. It allows Irish-British citizens to apply for the health care insurance service even in other European countries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Ireland healthcare facts, why not look at fun facts about Northern Ireland or Ireland potato famine facts?

Written By
Sridevi Tolety

<p>With a Master's degree in clinical research from Manipal University and a PG Diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sridevi has cultivated her passion for writing across various domains. She has authored a wide range of articles, blogs, travelogues, creative content, and short stories that have been published in leading magazines, newspapers, and websites. Sridevi is fluent in four languages and enjoys spending her spare time with loved ones. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, cooking, painting, and listening to music.</p>

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