Tuesday 6 December 2016

Some 25pc of Irish people have neither medical card nor health insurance

Published 23/06/2015 | 10:13

Medical card
Medical card

A quarter of all Irish people currently have no health cover whatsoever, with only 75pc of the nation holding either private medical insurance or a medical card.

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This lack of cover is just one of a number of concerns regarding the country's healthcare revealed in the latest Pfizer Health index.

The figure contrasts with the rise in those now claiming to have signed up to a health policy (36pc) or entitled to a medical card (44pc).

However, while 63pc of those surveyed said that 'finances and security' were more important to them than 'health and welfare', the report found that people are claiming that they are healthier.

A decade on from the inaugural index from Pfizer, 65pc of people scored their health 8 out of 10 based on a range of criteria, in comparison with 61pc ten years ago.

Technology featured in the index for the first time with 22pc of people reportedly using a self-monitoring app with 66pc monitoring exercise. Over half of these people said that the belived their app healped them live a healthier life.

Using Google search to identify ailments hasn't proved as successful, however, as some 44pc report that they feel more worried by the results that they find. 

“Despite Ireland officially being out of recession, it is clear that people are still feeling the impact of austerity in terms of their personal finances and this is impacting on healthcare in general," Professor Charles Normand, Edward Kennedy Chair of Health Policy and Management at Trinity College Dublin, said.

"While we are now seeing an increase in the numbers of people with private medical insurance, and more people are becoming eligible for free GP care, there is still 25pc of our population who pay the full cost of primary care and have access only to public hospital services.”

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