The price of cancer for children in the Republic

More than 70% of the population in the Republic of Ireland have to pay to see their GP, as well as prescription charges and Health Care Costs. More than one in four sick people are deterred from visiting their GP as a result.

Sunday Independent 15/02/2015

Costs to see a GP range from anywhere between €45 – €75, to call out an ambulance can cost anywhere from €100, as can a hospital stay. Add to that prescription charges and illness can be a very hefty expense for those not on state benefits. There is a medical card system in place, however the weekly income threshold for granting to those in employment is relatively low, while those on benefits who earn above the threshold are granted automatic entitlement.

Sunday Independent 15/02/2015


Today’s Sunday Independent carries the story of 9 year old Lucy O’Connor, who, has had her appeal for a discretionary medical card to fund treatment refused. Lucy has a rare Type B Lymphoma, and this week has not been able to get out of bed due to sickness and exhaustion. It’s a horrific story, and likely alien to most people in Northern Ireland. Interestingly, Lucy’s family would be better off on welfare than working.

Is this the sort of health service we want in Northern Ireland?

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  • Tacapall

    From someone who has recently experienced the same horrors of cancer that Lucy is experiencing and who has watched as friends died with the same horrible disease, believe me the NHS is nothing to boast about, maybe you never watched the Nolan show a few weeks ago that centered around the same subject.

    People in glass houses really shouldn’t throw stones –

  • hugh mccloy

    The NHS model is by far the center of excellence in health provision world wide, regardless of whatever spin you want to put on it that fact will never change, what we are seeing in NI and further afield are moves to run it as a business rather than a service.

    Since the assembly reformed in 2006 and seen the DBD 2000, RPA 2006, CSR 2008, none of which were based on patient safety, all of which were to do with cutting funding.

    The assembly has moved away form the NHS model, how many headlines of the type we see since 2006 did we see prior to 2006 ?

    With all the talk about the assembly collapsing before christmas and a return to direct rule we must remember during 1999-2002 the assembly created a health strategy to shut down hospitals across NI under the SF health Minister. It was called developing better services and sold to the public as a critical health package we need to accept to deliver the best level of services to NI residents.

    For such a critical strategy during 2002-06 direct rules ministers did not implement it, it sat on the shelf during that time gathering dust as direct rule ministers knew it was to dangerous . back come the assembly though and hey presto we find ourselves in one fine mess

  • Zig70

    Compare the GP process to that of emergency response. A trained paramedic is first call for a life threatening incident, so why is an expensive 100k a year resource like a doctor used for non emergency? It doesn’t make sense to me. Because doctors find emergency response less cushy? Because old dears demand it, like that was ever a valid reason. I think it is because doctors make ego based decisions on how the business is organised and that’s what it is, a business that we pay for.