A review by the Irish Government of the health care system has concluded that there is “no evidence” that any of the country’s 10 main health systems are working effectively.
The review was launched by Health Minister Alan Shatter on Monday.
Health Minister Alan Schulz said the review was a response to the recommendations of the OECD’s new “Healthy Cities and Communities” report.
Mr Shatter said the report found that Ireland has one of the lowest health-care costs in the OECD.
“The evidence from our system is not strong,” he said.
But he added that “there is absolutely no evidence” of widespread underfunding in Irish health.
The OECD’s Health Cities and Cities report, published on Monday, found that health care costs in Ireland are among the lowest in the developed world, even though the country is not an OECD member.
Ireland has one health system, with the NHS and all of its health services delivered by three local authorities, and the other is the Department of Social Protection (DSP).
It says the DSP is responsible for almost 80 per cent of all health care services in Ireland.
The report found there was a “lack of clarity” in the way the health service was organised.
It said that the “disjointed nature of the system and the absence of consistent accountability for the decisions that are made by the DSPs in their own offices” resulted in “a culture of corruption”.
The report also recommended the Government “seek to create a single, consolidated and publicly accountable agency for health and social care” that would work with private sector providers.
However, Mr Shatter insisted the Government would “never” reduce or abolish the DSPS.
He said the new review would be “independent” and “independent of the DSDP”.
“This is not a Government mandate,” he told the Oireachtas.
“This is the work of the Independent Commission for the Health and Social Care of the People.”
The review, due to be released in the coming weeks, is being undertaken by Dr Pauline Feltner, a GP and member of the Advisory Council for the National Health Strategy (NHS).
Dr Felt, who is also the chair of the Joint Advisory Group on the Future of Health in Ireland, said that while she was not an expert in health care, the report was a timely reminder that the public had a right to know how their health is being managed.
“We have a national public health crisis.
I don’t think anyone has seen this before,” she said.”
The report shows that the system is failing, the system needs to be fixed.
I’m not sure if that is the time or the place for the Government to go into some detail, but I’m sure the NHS will respond with a very robust plan to get back to the level of services and the quality of care that we are seeing in Ireland.”
Dr Pauline said that although she was “not a physician” she had seen “a real lack of clarity and the lack of accountability in the system”.
I have seen a real lack in the public engagement and I have seen an over-reliance on the private sector.”