Health and Health Care
Health plays a central role in people’s perceptions of their quality of life, and access to good health care is a key ingredient in an overall sense of security and well-being. This chapter examines how health and health care have evolved over the course of Ireland’s economic boom. Media coverage highlights the negatives: increasing suicide, road deaths, binge drinking and obesity, together with over-crowded accident and emergency departments and the perception that the health-care system is a ‘black hole’, absorbing ever-increasing resources for no return. Our aim is to assess the more complex reality, where some aspects of health and health care have been improving and others standing still or deteriorating, and to examine the role that public perceptions of those trends play in attitudes towards quality of life in Ireland. We look first at trends in health, and then how the health services and their use have evolved.
KeywordsBinge Drinking Private Health Insurance Health Spending Irish Population Total Health Expenditure
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