Irish Journal of Medical Science (1971 -)

, Volume 188, Issue 1, pp 35–41 | Cite as

Towards a more positive view of healthcare in Ireland

  • Alf NicholsonEmail author


Ireland has a population of just over one million children, the highest birth rate in the European Union, significant income inequalities and an increasing non-national population. Our under five mortality figures have shown a steady decline to 3.6 per 1000 and are amongst the best in the world. Examples of high-quality healthcare results include neonatal intensive care outcomes, paediatric cancer survival rates, surgical outcomes in congenital heart disease, improved survival in cystic fibrosis and renal transplantation results. Positivity alone is not enough and I propose a 10-point plan for future healthcare for children and young people. We should first and foremost aim for health not care and prevention plays a key role. Parents and families should play an active role in decisions around their children’s health and should be aware of results of treatment. Care should be delivered as close to home as possible and we should strengthen both primary and community care and provide additional support to general practitioners to manage childhood illness closer to home. We need to plan for new morbidities such as type 1 diabetes, obesity, mental health issues and inflammatory bowel disease. General paediatrics is a key enabler of better healthcare for children. We should advocate for a future system focussed on quality, reducing geographical variation and supporting local care, thereby keeping children out of hospital as much as possible.


Child health Integrated care National key performance indicators Strategy going forward in Ireland 


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RCSI Department of PaediatricsTemple Street Children’s University HospitalDublinIreland

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