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Northside gets triple the level of health cash

Three times more is invested in primary healthcare services for north Dublin city per person than in the southside.

Budgets for health spending vary dramatically depending on where you live, according to a new HSE report.

In Dublin alone, the difference in some cases is more than €2,000 per person.

The study by DCU academics shows that Dublin North Central is among the best-funded districts in the country, but Dublin West and Dublin South City fare among the worst.

The figures also reveal that €2,598 per person is pumped into Primary, Continuing and Community Care (PCCC) in Bertie Ahern's constituency.

In stark contrast, the investment in Dublin West is as little as €537, while Dublin South City gets €814 per head.

The average spending nationwide is €1,163.

Unequal

Fine Gael senator Paschal Donohoe told the Herald that the findings show that "a marked differences in how money is allocated in different parts of Dublin".

But the Dublin Central representative says the heavy investment in his area is justified.

"While the allocation of funding might be unequal, this does not make it unfair. Dublin's inner city is contained in the HSE area that has the highest spend in Dublin.

"This is because of the need to combat the effects of social deprivation on health."

He added: "It's very important that we maintain this level of support by ensuring the right number of GPs are available for this community and that these doctors are supported by the right facilities in hospitals.

"This will mean higher spending levels per head but this is justified by the area."

The study's authors say the HSE records its budgets based on where specific services are provided rather than on where the clients actually live.

The study suggests that there are huge differences across the country.

The highest investment per capita is in West Cork, where the HSE spends €4,515 per resident.

The next highest is Dublin Central (€2,598), followed by Dublin South West at €2,247.

Dublin West receives the lowest invest at €537, followed by Meath (€753) and Wexford (€834).

kdoyle@herald.ie


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