A two-tiered public-private health system: Who stays in (private) hospitals in Ireland?
Despite efforts to create a universal, single-tiered Irish health system, an unequal "two-tiered" system persists. The future blueprint for Irish health care, Sláintecare, recommends a separation of public and private hospital treatment. This study examines patterns of overall and private hospital utilisation in Ireland that could help identify some of the impacts of the proposed separation of public and private hospital treatment. Using data from EU-SILC (2016) (n = 10,131) the factors associated with inpatient hospitalisation and private inpatient hospitalisation are estimated using probit models. Unsurprisingly, those who are economically inactive are more likely to have had an inpatient stay. Furthermore, those aged over 65, with a chronic illness, with a medical/ GP visit card and private health insurance and those with only private health insurance are also more likely to have had an inpatient stay. Those with only primary education are less likely to report an inpatient stay in private hospital. Those aged over 25 and less than 65, those with a medical/ GP visit card and private health insurance and those with only private health insurance are significantly more likely to opt for a private hospital. Understanding overall and private hospital utilisation patterns is imperative for implementing universal health care and associated resource planning and fulfilling policy recommendations.
Access , Health system reform , Hospital stay , Private hospitals
Murphy, A., Bourke, J. and Turner, B. (2020) 'A two-tiered public-private health system: Who stays in (private) hospitals in Ireland?', Health Policy, 124(7), pp. 765-771. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2020.04.003