‘A health service when you need it, as you need it’. 

The Social Democrats will today launch their Health policy document; ‘A health service when you need it, as you need it’. Party Co-Leader Roísín Shortall said the current Irish health service is not set up to best meet the needs of people requiring healthcare. She said the system is far too dependent on hospitals, and much of the care could take place in local health centres instead – resulting in reduced costs and Improved efficiency.

Róisín Shortall will be joined at the launch by General Election candidate for Galway West, Niall Ó Tuathail whose professional background has seen him work extensively on reform programmes within the UK’s NHS.

Jennifer Whitmore, the party’s candidate In Wicklow. will also join the panel. Jennifer is a twice elected Cllr in Wicklow and former mayor. A working mother of four young children and with a background in policy formation both In Ireland and Australia – Jennifer is well aware of the struggles families face when It comes to healthcare and understands the policy approaches needed to improve things.

The party said the Irish system is currently an illness system rather than a functioning health service. The party intends to frame a revamped system around their Sláintecare proposals which
set out a road-map to move from a crisis-driven approach to one that focuses instead on community care, prevention, and equal access for all and includes:
·        Free health services in our communities;
·        Quicker access to public hospitals;
·        Community care teams for older people and those with mental health needs;
·        Diagnostics like x-rays and scans provided locally;
·        Thousands more doctors, nurses, speech therapists, and public health nurses.
·        An increase in hospital bed capacity and an end to trolley crisis.

The Social Democrats say that when Sláintecare is implemented, Ireland will finally have a health system that is comparable to other European countries, based on need and not on ability to pay.

16th Jan 2020

Click on A Health Service: As you need it, when you need it to read our policy

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